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From Middle English forsight, forsyght, forsichte (since 14th c.), a calque from providentia equivalent to fore- +‎ sight. Compare Scots foresicht (foresight), Saterland Frisian Foarsicht (caution), West Frisian foarútsjoch (foresight), Dutch voorzicht (foresight), German Vorsicht (caution; care; attention).



foresight (countable and uncountable, plural foresights)

  1. The ability to foresee or prepare wisely for the future.
    Having the foresight to prepare an evacuation plan may have saved their lives.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, “Book IV”, in The Faerie Queene. [], part II (books IV–VI), London: [] [Richard Field] for William Ponsonby, →OCLC, stanza 1, page 1:
      The rugged forhead that with graue foreſight / Welds kingdomes cauſes, & affaires of ſtate; []
    • 1822, John Barclay, chapter I, in An Inquiry Into the Opinions, Ancient and Modern, Concerning Life and Organization[1], Edinburgh, London: Bell & Bradfute; Waugh & Innes; G. & W. B. Whittaker, section I, page 2:
      In the dead state all is apparently without motion. No agent within indicates design, intelligence, or foresight: […]
    • 2020 May 20, Industry Insider, “An online boost for freight”, in Rail, page 68:
      The specifiers of the Freightliner network had the foresight to base the rail journey on carrying ISO containers which are 8ft wide and originally 8ft tall (although now increased to a height of 9ft 6ins), with a variety of lengths.
  2. the front sight on a rifle or similar weapon
  3. (surveying) a bearing taken forwards towards a new object



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