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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English forbodyng, vorboding, equivalent to fore- +‎ boding. Compare German Vorbote (harbinger, omen).


foreboding (plural forebodings)

  1. A sense of evil to come.
    Synonym: augury
    • 1876–1877, Henry James, Jr., chapter XIII, in The American, Boston, Mass.: James R[ipley] Osgood and Company, [], published 5 May 1877, →OCLC, page 229:
      To me there is something sad in his life, and sometimes I have a sort of foreboding about him. I don't know why, but I fancy he will have some great trouble—perhaps an unhappy end.
    • 1956, Arthur C. Clarke, The City and the Stars, page 41:
      A sense of foreboding, the like of which he had never known before, hung heavily on him.
  2. An evil omen.



foreboding (comparative more foreboding, superlative most foreboding)

  1. Of ominous significance; serving as an ill omen; foretelling of harm or difficulty.



  1. present participle of forebode