fu·​ture | \ ˈfyü-chər How to pronounce future (audio) \

Definition of future

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : that is to be specifically : existing after death doctrine of a future life — John Kenrick
2 : of, relating to, or constituting a verb tense expressive of time yet to come
3 : existing or occurring at a later time met his future wife We cannot foretell future events.



Definition of future (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : time that is to come
b : what is going to happen
2 : an expectation of advancement or progressive development
3 : something (such as a bulk commodity) bought for future acceptance or sold for future delivery usually used in pluralgrain futures
4a : the future tense of a language
b : a verb form in the future tense

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Synonyms & Antonyms for future

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of future in a Sentence

Adjective We cannot predict future events. Future generations will benefit from this research. Noun We're making plans for the future. They will hire more people sometime in the future. What do you think you will be doing in the future? What does the future hold for you? It's impossible to predict the future. The company faces an uncertain future. The future was already decided for her.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The 49ers clobbered the Packers and their future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers, taking a 27-0 lead by halftime. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "49ers surf, dance and spike their way to the Super Bowl," 19 Jan. 2020 Tougher trade issues also remain unresolved and have been punted to future negotiations—and, notably, painful tariffs remain in place. Alex Leary, WSJ, "Trump Campaign Talks Up Trade Deals as ‘Promises Kept,’ but Uncertainty Over China Lingers," 19 Jan. 2020 The results will determine the need for a future evaluation, and parents can use the checklist to discuss any concerns with a child’s health care provider. Daniel Gatalica, azcentral, "Hispanic children less often diagnosed with autism, CDC says," 18 Jan. 2020 There’s no sign GHG emissions are peaking, states the United Nations (pdf), and every year of delay makes future reductions more difficult and drastic with potential damages measured in the trillions of dollars. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "For the first time, our failing environment is seen as the biggest business risk at Davos," 17 Jan. 2020 The earthquake killed leading intellectuals, artists, feminists, and other well-known change makers of Haitian society, whose departure is being felt even today as the country struggles with its present and future. National Geographic, "Unlimited access to today’s stories, videos, and photo galleries," 10 Jan. 2020 Want to know more about her past, present and future appearances including Feb. 21 at Baldwin Wallace University, go to jenniferrowley.com/ . Sam Boyer, cleveland, "Rowley takes center stage in Spain: Whit & Whimsey," 27 Dec. 2019 With a last-minute 1-0 win over Wellesley at Northeastern University’s Matthews Arena on Wednesday night, the Austin Prep girls’ hockey put the program’s past, present and future on display. BostonGlobe.com, "Arlington Catholic 4, Mount St. Charles (R.I.) 2 —," 20 Dec. 2019 Your latest album, POP VIRUS (2018), seems to encompass past, present and future, musically and thematically. Billboard Japan, Billboard, "J-Pop Star Gen Hoshino Reflects, 'The World Seems Closer': Interview," 31 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Adidas All-American Bowl provided plenty of fireworks in San Antonio on Saturday, as the future of college football was on display in the national all-star game on NBC. oregonlive, "Noah Sewell, Oregon Ducks 5-star LB, earns 247Sports’ ‘Alpha Dog’ award for All-American Bowl showing," 5 Jan. 2020 Predicting the future is hard, even for the people with the most power to influence it. Mark Milian, Houston Chronicle, "Flying cars, hyperloops and the other 2020 tech predictions that didn’t pan out," 3 Jan. 2020 In the future of work fashion, data is the new black. Ray A. Smith, WSJ, "Work Clothes, Reimagined for an Age of Wearable Tech," 2 Jan. 2020 Predicting the future is hard, but that doesn't stop people from trying—especially people named Elon Musk. Wired Staff, Wired, "Here's What the World Will Look Like in 2030 ... Right?," 1 Jan. 2020 Song’s future with the organization is in limbo though, as the Chief Naval Officer at the Academy does not endorse his petition for an active-duty waiver of his service obligations. BostonGlobe.com, "Here’s a look back at the year in sports.," 1 Jan. 2020 And 62% say that the future of the country is a significant source of stress. Katie O'connell, azcentral, "The Gaggle Podcast: How to survive the 2020 election," 1 Jan. 2020 Courtesy of Lam Tung Pang Courtesy of Lam Tung Pang And what will the future be? Vivienne Chow, Quartz, "Twelve works of art that chart the emotional upheavals of the Hong Kong protests," 31 Dec. 2019 The future for democracy is not all doom and gloom. Angela Dewan, CNN, "Democracy has taken a detour this century. Can it get back on track?," 28 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'future.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of future


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for future

Adjective and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin futurus about to be — more at be

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Time Traveler for future

Time Traveler

The first known use of future was in the 14th century

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Statistics for future

Last Updated

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Future.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/future?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=f&file=future01. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for future



Financial Definition of future

What It Is

Futures are financial contracts giving the buyer an obligation to purchase an asset (and the seller an obligation to sell an asset) at a set price at a future point in time.

How It Works

Futures are also called futures contracts.

The assets often traded in futures contracts include commodities, stocks, and bonds. Grain, precious metals, electricity, oil, beef, orange juice, and natural gas are traditional examples of commodities, but foreign currencies, emissions credits, bandwidth, and certain financial instruments are also part of today's commodity markets.

There are two kinds of futures traders: hedgers and speculators. Hedgers do not usually seek a profit by trading commodities ev but rather seek to stabilize the revenues or costs of their business operations. Their gains or losses are usually offset to some degree by a corresponding loss or gain in the market for the underlying physical commodity.

Speculators are usually not interested in taking possession of the underlying assets. They essentially place bets on the future prices of certain commodities. Thus, if you disagree with the consensus that wheat prices are going to fall, you might buy a futures contract. If your prediction is right and wheat prices increase, you could make money by selling the futures contract (which is now worth a lot more) before it expires (this prevents you from having to take delivery of the wheat as well). Speculators are often blamed for big price swings, but they also provide liquidity to the futures market.

Futures contracts are standardized, meaning that they specify the underlying commodity's quality, quantity, and delivery so that the prices mean the same thing to everyone in the market. For example, each kind of crude oil (light sweet crude, for example) must meet the same quality specifications so that light sweet crude from one producer is no different from another and the buyer of light sweet crude futures knows exactly what he's getting.

Futures exchanges depend on clearing members to manage the payments between buyer and seller. They are usually large banks and financial services companies. Clearing members guarantee each trade and thus require traders to make good-faith deposits (called margins) in order to ensure that the trader has sufficient funds to handle potential losses and will not default on the trade. The risk borne by clearing members lends further support to the strict quality, quantity, and delivery specifications of futures contracts.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulates commodities futures trading through its enforcement of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1974 and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. The CFTC works to ensure the competitiveness, efficiency, and integrity of the commodities futures markets and protects against manipulation, abusive trading, and fraud.

Futures Exchanges
There are several futures exchanges. Common ones include The New York Mercantile Exchange, the Chicago Board of Trade, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Chicago Board of Options Exchange, the Chicago Climate Futures Exchange, the Kansas City Board of Trade, and the Minneapolis Grain Exchange.

Why It Matters

Futures are a great way for companies involved in the commodities industries to stabilize their prices and thus their operations and financial performance. Futures give them the ability to "set" prices or costs well in advance, which in turn allows them to plan better, smooth out cash flows, and communicate with shareholders more confidently.

Futures trading is a zero-sum game; that is, if somebody makes a million dollars, somebody else loses a million dollars. Because futures contracts can be purchased on margin, meaning that the investor can buy a contract with a partial loan from his or her broker, futures traders have an incredible amount of leverage with which to trade thousands or millions of dollars worth of contracts with very little of their own money.

Source: Investing Answers


How to pronounce future (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of future

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: coming after the present time : existing in the future
used to say what someone or something will be



English Language Learners Definition of future (Entry 2 of 2)

: the period of time that will come after the present time
: the events that will happen after the present time
: the condition or situation of someone or something in the time that will come


fu·​ture | \ ˈfyü-chər How to pronounce future (audio) \

Kids Definition of future

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: coming after the present future events



Kids Definition of future (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the period of time that is to come What will happen in the future?
2 : the chance of future success You have a bright future.

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Legal Definition of future

: a contract traded on an exchange in which a party agrees to buy or sell a quantity of a bulk commodity (as soybeans) at a specified future date and at a set price usually used in pl.

Note: If the price of the commodity has gone up when the future date arrives, the buyer in the contract profits. If the price has gone down, the seller profits.

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Comments on future

What made you want to look up future? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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