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Etymology 1[edit]

The adjective is derived from forth (forwards) + coming (approaching (adjective));[1] or from Middle English forth commyng, *forthcominge, present participle of forth-comen (to come forth; to appear, issue), from Old English forþcuman, forþ-cuman (to come forth, come forward) (present participle *forþcumende),[2] from forþ- (forth; forward) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *per- (before, in front; first)) + cuman (to come) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *gʷem- (to step)). Compare Dutch voortkomend (coming forth, originating from (verb)), German fortkommend (getting away; progressing (verb)).

The noun is derived from forth (forwards) + coming (arrival).[3]


forthcoming (comparative more forthcoming, superlative most forthcoming)

  1. (not comparable) Approaching or about to take place.
    Synonyms: imminent, impending; see also Thesaurus:impending
    I shall vote in the forthcoming election.
    • 2011 October 1, David Ornstein, “Blackburn 0 – 4 Man City”, in BBC Sport[1], archived from the original on 15 July 2019:
      The visitors began to hold a much higher line, passing and moving with greater urgency, and their reward was forthcoming.
    • 2021 November 3, Adrian Shooter talks to Paul Clifton, “A lifetime of railway achievements”, in RAIL, number 943, page 34:
      Never one to waste an opportunity, he says now: "The low points? You can read about them in my forthcoming book! It's at the printers now.
  2. Available when needed; in place, ready.
    Antonym: unforthcoming
    The money was not forthcoming.
    • 1957, Karl Popper, chapter 24, in The Poverty of Historicism, FIRST HARPER TORCH BOOK edition, page 92:
      This may perhaps throw some light on the fact that in democratic countries defending themselves against aggression, sufficient support may be forthcoming for the necessary far-reaching measures (which may even take on the character of holistic planning) without suppression of public criticism, while in countries preparing for an attack or waging an aggressive war, public criticism as a rule must be suppressed, in order that public support may be mobilized by presenting aggression as defence.
  3. Willing to co-operate or provide information; candid, frank, responsive.
    Once I explained why I needed to know, she was really forthcoming.
    • 1991, David Michael Kaplan, Skating in the Dark, New York, N.Y.: Pantheon Books, →ISBN, page 145:
      So the lawyer talks to him, and tries to get the details of the case, but the guy's not really forthcoming, you know, he won't say exactly where he lives, won't give any names, and the lawyer is thinking something's funny, but still there's real panic [...]
Derived terms[edit]


forthcoming (plural forthcomings)

  1. An act of coming forth.
  2. Something that is yet to come.
    • 1831, Archibald Mackerrell, “Appendix”, in An Apology for the Gift of Tongues and Interpretation, at Present Manifested in the Church of Christ [] and the Words of a Vision of Prophecy Given to the Church in A.D. 1830, Greenock, Renfrewshire: W. Johnston, →OCLC, page 22:
      The reader, has had presented to him things not belonging to time or mortality, but awful realities issuing out from eternity, the audible forthcomings of a present living God.

Etymology 2[edit]

From forthcome +‎ -ing.[4]



  1. present participle and gerund of forthcome


  1. ^ forthcoming, adj.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1897; “forthcoming, adj.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  2. ^ fō̆rth-cǒmen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  3. ^ forthcoming, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1897.
  4. ^ Compare “forthcome”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1897.