Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Middle English foreboden, from Old English forebodian, equivalent to fore- +‎ bode.


  • IPA(key): /fɔːˈbəʊd/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -əʊd

Alternative forms[edit]


forebode (third-person singular simple present forebodes, present participle foreboding, simple past and past participle foreboded)

  1. To predict a future event; to hint at something that will happen (especially as a literary device).
  2. To be prescient of (some ill or misfortune); to have an inward conviction of, as of a calamity which is about to happen; to augur despondingly.
    • 1741, Conyers Middleton, Life of Cicero:
      Sullen, desponding, and foreboding nothing but wars and desolation, as the certain consequence of Caesar's death.
    • 1833–1834 (date written), Alfred Tennyson, “The Two Voices”, in Poems. [], volume II, London: Edward Moxon, [], published 1842, OCLC 1008064829, page 135:
      Here sits he shaping wings to fly: / His heart forebodes a mystery: / He names the name Eternity.
    • 1837, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], Ethel Churchill: Or, The Two Brides. [], volume II, London: Henry Colburn, [], OCLC 21345056, page 160:
      Walter was disturbed by a low rap at the door. It was so indistinct and hesitating, that, at first, he thought himself mistaken; a second summons, however, led him to rise and open to his visitor. It was the very person that he foreboded—Mr. Curl.


Derived terms[edit]




  1. (obsolete) prognostication; presage

See also[edit]