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fore- +‎ bode

Alternative forms[edit]

  • forbode (much less commonly used)


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).
    • Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
      There can be, if I forebode aright, no power, short of the Divine mercy, to disclose, whether by uttered words, or by type or emblem, the secrets that may be buried with a human heart.
  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.
    • Tennyson
      His heart forebodes a mystery.
    • Middleton
      Sullen, desponding, and foreboding nothing but wars and desolation, as the certain consequence of Caesar's death.
    • H. James
      I have a sort of foreboding about him.




  1. (obsolete) prognostication; presage

See also[edit]