Synonym Chooser

How is the word foretell different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of foretell are forecast, predict, prognosticate, and prophesy. While all these words mean "to tell beforehand," foretell applies to the telling of the coming of a future event by any procedure or any source of information.

seers foretold the calamity

How do forecast and predict relate to one another, in the sense of foretell?

Forecast adds the implication of anticipating eventualities and differs from predict in being usually concerned with probabilities rather than certainties.

forecast snow

In what contexts can predict take the place of foretell?

The words predict and foretell are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, predict commonly implies inference from facts or accepted laws of nature.

astronomers predicted an eclipse

How does the word prognosticate relate to other synonyms for foretell?

Prognosticate is used less often than the other words; it may suggest learned or skilled interpretation, but more often it is simply a colorful substitute for predict or prophesy.

prognosticating the future

When is prophesy a more appropriate choice than foretell?

While the synonyms prophesy and foretell are close in meaning, prophesy connotes inspired or mystic knowledge of the future especially as the fulfilling of divine threats or promises.

prophesying a new messiah

Thesaurus Entries Near foretell

Cite this Entry

“Foretell.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

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