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From fore- +‎ ground. Compare Dutch voorgrond (foreground), German Vordergrund (foreground), Danish forgrund (foreground), Swedish förgrund (foreground), Norwegian forgrunn (foreground), Icelandic forgrunni (foreground).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈfɔː(ɹ)ˌɡɹaʊnd/
  • (file)


foreground (plural foregrounds)

  1. The elements of an image which lie closest to the picture plane.
  2. The subject of an image, often depicted at the bottom in a two-dimensional work.
  3. (computing, often attributive) The application the user is currently interacting with; the application window that appears in front of all others.

Related terms[edit]



foreground (third-person singular simple present foregrounds, present participle foregrounding, simple past and past participle foregrounded)

  1. To place in the foreground (physically or metaphorically).
    • 2019 October 31, A. A. Dowd, “Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro reunite for one last gripping crime epic, The Irishman”, in AV Club[1]:
      Right from the start, The Irishman foregrounds the looming inevitability of death.