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fore·​cast ˈfȯr-ˌkast How to pronounce forecast (audio)
forecast also forecasted; forecasting

transitive verb

: to calculate or predict (some future event or condition) usually as a result of study and analysis of available pertinent data
The company is forecasting reduced profits.
especially : to predict (weather conditions) on the basis of correlated meteorological (see meteorology sense 1) observations
They're forecasting rain for this weekend.
: to indicate as likely to occur
Optimists are forecasting an immediate upswing in business.
: to serve as a forecast of : presage
Such events may forecast peace.

intransitive verb

: to calculate the future
if it turns out as I forecasted
forecastable adjective
forecaster noun


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fore·​cast ˈfȯr-ˌkast How to pronounce forecast (audio)
: a prophecy, estimate, or prediction of a future happening or condition
archaic : foresight of consequences and provision against them : forethought
Choose the Right Synonym for forecast

foretell, predict, forecast, prophesy, prognosticate 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

predict commonly implies inference from facts or accepted laws of nature.

astronomers predicted an eclipse

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

forecast snow

prophesy connotes inspired or mystic knowledge of the future especially as the fulfilling of divine threats or promises.

prophesying a new messiah

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

Example Sentences

Verb They're forecasting rain for this weekend. The company is forecasting reduced profits. Experts forecast that the economy will slow in the coming months. Noun want to catch the weather forecast so I'll know what kind of clothes to pack for the trip tomorrow
Recent Examples on the Web
Wednesday is forecast to be mostly cloudy with temperatures near 53. oregonlive, 20 Nov. 2022 This year is forecast to be the third-busiest for Thanksgiving travel since AAA started tracking in 2000. Amanda Maile, ABC News, 18 Nov. 2022 Michigan's unemployment rate is forecast to hold steady at 4.1% through the middle of 2023. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 18 Nov. 2022 The storm is forecast to continue moving west across the central Florida Peninsula and will emerge over the far northeastern Gulf of Mexico in the afternoon. Phil Helsel, NBC News, 10 Nov. 2022 Global production would be 600,000 barrels a day lower than forecast in September. CBS News, 19 Oct. 2022 Global production would be 600,000 barrels a day lower than forecast in September. Josh Boak,, 19 Oct. 2022 Global production would be 600,000 barrels a day lower than forecast in September. Josh Boak, Fortune, 19 Oct. 2022 The storm will be approaching the coast by Friday, which is later than originally forecast. Leigh Morgan, al, 12 Oct. 2022
Daytime conditions on Friday have a forecast of partly sunny with a high of 46 degrees and a low of 33 degrees in the evening. Rachel Fradette, The Indianapolis Star, 22 Nov. 2022 Well People and Rahua Hair Care, plus, a forecast from the famed astrologist herself. Tiffany Dodson, Harper's BAZAAR, 21 Nov. 2022 Susan Glaser reports a forecast of about 260,000 travelers passing through Hopkins between Friday, Nov. 18 and Sunday, Nov. 27, up 11% over last year’s total, but still shy of the 285,000 who traveled in 2019. cleveland, 21 Nov. 2022 The 2022 Chargers were expected to challenge Kansas City for supremacy in a division forecast as deep and dangerous. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, 19 Nov. 2022 The storm’s most intense snow is expected to lash the Buffalo area in western New York, where more than 4 feet could pile up, making for a forecast not seen in more than 20 years. Adrienne Vogt, CNN, 18 Nov. 2022 In the sequence, a desperate Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) orders his yacht captain to ignore a dire weather forecast and sail from Italy to Monaco in an attempt to stop his bank account from being confiscated by federal investigators. James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Nov. 2022 The number of people planning to travel 50 miles or more for the upcoming holiday is expected to rise 1.5% from 2021, according to a travel forecast released Tuesday by AAA. Joseph De Avila, WSJ, 15 Nov. 2022 Moreover, in the face of high inflation and increasingly budget-conscious consumers, Amazon issued a disappointing forecast for the holiday season — typically its strongest time of the year — sending its stock plummeting last month. Julian Mark, Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use


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


1527, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of forecast was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near forecast

Cite this Entry

“Forecast.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

forecast 1 of 2


fore·​cast ˈfō(ə)r-ˌkast How to pronounce forecast (audio)
forecast also forecasted; forecasting
: to calculate or predict (a future event or state) usually by study and examination of data
forecast the weather
forecaster noun


2 of 2


: an estimate or prediction of a future happening or condition
weather forecasts

More from Merriam-Webster on forecast

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