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 plural grain 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

coming, unborn

Synonyms: Noun

by-and-by, futurity, hereafter, offing, tomorrow

Antonyms: Adjective

bygone, past

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of future in a Sentence


We cannot predict future events. Future generations will benefit from this research.


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 Signature Class is a nine-month leadership program for current and future adult leaders residing or working in Medina County. Sam Boyer, cleveland.com, "Church group comes to the rescue and so can you: Whit & Whimsey," 13 Sep. 2019 The concussion should be reported on future medical forms, including those related to athletic participation. Susan Davies, The Conversation, "Concussions and children returning to school – what parents need to know," 12 Sep. 2019 Even a cursory look at the federal government’s current and future financial picture ought to caution these candidates against overpromising when voters beyond their base are growing increasingly frustrated with leaders who don’t deliver. David Winston, Twin Cities, "David Winston: Taxing the rich won’t pay for Democratic promises," 10 Sep. 2019 Haddad is responsible for a lot of advanced scouting, creating reports for pitchers and hitters on future opponents. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, "Carmel's Radley Haddad: Rise from Brebeuf to Butler to the New York Yankees," 10 Sep. 2019 By doing this, each of you are a clear and present danger to the safety of current and future students. David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, "Nassar survivors: MSU president must act after 'complete betrayal' from board members," 9 Sep. 2019 But an investment in your search team is an investment in your users, both present and future. Eli Finkelshteyn, Quartz, "I love you, Slack. But your worst flaw will make me quit you," 9 Sep. 2019 Technologies that recycle practically everything—that make water, air and food as renewable and self-sustaining as possible—are essential for current and future human spaceflight. Robin George Andrews, Scientific American, "Can Spaceflight Save the Planet?," 6 Sep. 2019 Beyond that, the club did well to fortify its midfield on the (relative) cheap in landing Gueye ($34.2 million), Sarabia ($20.5 million) and Herrera (free), while also securing a defensive anchor for the present and future in Diallo. Avi Creditor, SI.com, "The Top 10 Summer Transfer Window Classes Around Europe," 3 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

On Monday, Kennedy will bolt his district again, speaking at Labor Day events in Boston and West Boylston in Central Massachusetts, alongside a bevy of other politicians, including Markey, his possible future rival. BostonGlobe.com, "Some GOP favorites resist talk of 2020 presidential race at National Governors Association meeting," 2 Sep. 2019 The future came immediately for the two true freshmen who started their debut Saturday afternoon in Atlanta at a position traditionally built around experience. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "How Alabama’s 2 freshmen LBs responded to big moment," 1 Sep. 2019 Cincinnati basketball's future continues to take shape. Fletcher Page, Cincinnati.com, "UC basketball recruiting: Gabe and Mason Madsen commit to play for John Brannen," 1 Sep. 2019 Garrett has been part of the chamber’s efforts for strategic future planning and is excited to see the results of these efforts come to fruition. Jamie Swinnerton, Houston Chronicle, "The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes new board chairman," 31 Aug. 2019 With one month left in the regular season, Bumgarner’s future with the Giants will once again become a frequent topic of discussion. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Farhan Zaidi discusses possibility of re-signing Madison Bumgarner," 30 Aug. 2019 Kara Stevens is founder of The Frugal Feminista, a personal finance site committed to helping black women heal their relationship with money, save for the fun and the future, destroy debt, and live life on their own terms. Kara Stevens, Essence, "4 Money Moves to Make Before Your #HotGirlSummer Comes To A Close," 29 Aug. 2019 Is a cover in her (very distant) future, just like her famous mom? Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "Chrissy Teigen's Daughter Channels Her 'Sports Illustrated' Covers," 29 Aug. 2019 Other founders and investors echo this refrain—not just as a matter of principle, but as an imperative for the future growth and evolution of their own companies. Hilary George-parkin, Glamour, "The Unspoken Hurdle of Getting Funding for Plus-Size Fashion Brands," 28 Aug. 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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Statistics for future

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for future

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

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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



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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More from Merriam-Webster on future

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with future

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for future

Spanish Central: Translation of future

Nglish: Translation of future for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of future for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about future

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).


readily or continually undergoing change

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