future

1 of 2

adjective

fu·​ture ˈfyü-chər How to pronounce future (audio)
1
: that is to be
specifically : existing after death
On religion (by which he chiefly means Christianity), [philosopher Michael] Oakeshott is subtle. … He deprecates the doctrine of a future life, not as being impossible, but because it distracts people from the unique importance of the life they have. Charles Moore
2
: of, relating to, or constituting a verb tense expressive of time yet to come
a verb in the future tense
"will" and "shall" are used as future auxiliaries
3
: existing or occurring at a later time
We cannot foretell future events.
… the chance meeting one day of your future spouse … Robert W. Lucky

future

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: 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
4
a
: the future tense of a language
b
: a verb form in the future tense

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
The Speaker plans to address her future plans tomorrow to her colleagues. Ryan Nobles, NBC News, 17 Nov. 2022 Florida may no longer act as a swing state in future elections, experts said. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 16 Nov. 2022 Latino voters are one of the largest growing voting blocs, so the role of Latino voters is only going to grow in future elections. Ella Lee, USA TODAY, 16 Nov. 2022 Kari Lake cuts into Katie Hobbs' lead in Arizona governor's race, but Lake's path to victory now harder Arizona's politically purple credentials hard to top Can vote counting speed up for future elections in Arizona? Sasha Hupka, The Arizona Republic, 14 Nov. 2022 The state passed legislation to do that in future elections as well. Mike Catalini, ajc, 11 Nov. 2022 Their efforts to do the same in future elections will face rougher waters as long as the home team’s cable news network is investing big money in real numbers. Erik Wemple, Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2022 But beyond the likes of Kari Lake or Doug Mastriano garnering loads of national attention, there’s hundreds of local officials whose races will shape the fate of future elections: county sheriffs. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, 8 Nov. 2022 Adebayo, along with LeBron James, Donovan Mitchell, Zion Williamson and Bradley Beal are featured in a new NBA public-service announcement to encourage participation in Tuesday’s and future elections. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 7 Nov. 2022
Noun
And a one-year leap into the future, offering hope of greater normalcy, with Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and Mercer having taken over. Brian Lowry, CNN, 21 Nov. 2022 Vaughn highlighted the importance of engaging the community, especially youth, in maintaining these projects into the future. Sarah Lapidus, The Arizona Republic, 20 Nov. 2022 Under the direction of Andrea Bonomi and his family's private-equity firm Investindustrial since 2019, the company founded by HFS Morgan in 1909 has boldly ambled into the future. Jamie Kitman, Car and Driver, 17 Nov. 2022 Pierre L’Enfant’s 18th-century vision for the Mall — while also pushing these historic places into the future. Kelsey Ables, Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2022 The second time The Simpsons took a peek into the future, Lisa has become president of the United States. Mike Bloom, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Nov. 2022 Though it’s offered in many shades, this caramel calf leather will darken beautifully with wear—and, with a hardy nubuck lining, this cincher should hold up pants far into the future. WSJ, 15 Nov. 2022 The kind of stories that should be avoided at all costs are the ones that purport to look too far into the future. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 14 Nov. 2022 The struggling Hoosiers were overmatched by the undefeated Buckeyes on offense and defense, even as a quarterback change provided a possible glimpse into the future in the 56-14 defeat. Wilson Moore, The Indianapolis Star, 13 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective and Noun

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

First Known Use

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near future

Cite this Entry

“Future.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/future. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

future 1 of 2

adjective

fu·​ture ˈfyü-chər How to pronounce future (audio)
1
: coming after the present
future events
2
: of, relating to, or being a verb form in the future tense

future

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: time that is to come
sometime in the future
b
: what is going to happen
predict the future
2
: expectation of future success
a promising future
3
: something (as a commodity) bought or sold for delivery at a future time
usually used in plural
grain futures
4
b
: a verb form in the future tense

Legal Definition

future

noun

fu·​ture
: 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on future

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ