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From Middle English forknowen, equivalent to fore- +‎ know. Replaced Old English fōrwitan, fōrewitan (to foreknow).



foreknow (third-person singular simple present foreknows, present participle foreknowing, simple past foreknew, past participle foreknown)

  1. To have knowledge of beforehand.
    • God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.
    • 1652, Eugenius Philalethes, The Fame and Confeſſion of the Fraternity of R: C: Commonly, of the Roſie Croſs; with a Præface annexed thereto, and a ſhort Declaration of their Phyſicall Work (London, Printed by J. M. for Giles Calvert, at the black ſpread Eagle at the Weſt end of Pauls), pages 1–2 of “The Epiſtle to the Wiſe and Underſtanding Reader”
      Wiſdom…is to a man an infinite Treaſure, for ſhe is the Breath of the Power of God, and a pure Influence that floweth from the Glory of the Almighty; ſhe is the Brightneſs of Eternal Light, and an undefiled Mirror of the Majeſty of God, and an Image of his Goodneſs; ſhe teacheth us Soberneſs and Prudence, Righteouſneſs and Strength; ſhe underſtands the Subtilty of words, and Solution of dark ſentences; ſhe foreknoweth Signs and Wonders, and what ſhall happen in time to come.

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