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From Middle English foreseen, forseen, from Old English foresēon, from fore- +‎ sēon, equivalent to fore- +‎ see. Cognate with German vorsehen (to look out, to plan). This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term.


  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /fɔɹˈsi/
  • (UK) IPA(key): /fɔːˈsiː/
  • Rhymes: -iː


foresee (third-person singular simple present foresees, present participle foreseeing, simple past foresaw, past participle foreseen)

  1. To anticipate; to predict.
    • Bible, Proverbs xxii. 3
      A prudent man foreseeth the evil.
    • c. 1610-11, William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act II, Scene i[1]:
      My master through his art foresees the danger
      That you, his friend, are in, and sends me forth—
      For else his project dies— to keep them living.
    • 1838, Charles Dickens, The Lamplighter:
      "I foresee in this," he says, "the breaking up of our profession."
  2. (obsolete) To provide.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Francis Bacon
      Great shoals of people, which go on to populate, without foreseeing means of life.


See also[edit]