Synonyms & Antonyms of foretell

to tell of or describe beforehand
  • a 16th-century astrologer who, some claim, accurately foretold 20th-century events

Synonyms for foretell

Words Related to foretell

Near Antonyms for foretell

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About foretell

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

Learn More About foretell

Time Traveler for foretell

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near foretell




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Foretell.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on foretell

Nglish: Translation of foretell for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of foretell for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!