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[fawr-bohd, fohr-] /fɔrˈboʊd, foʊr-/
verb (used with object), foreboded, foreboding.
to foretell or predict; be an omen of; indicate beforehand; portend:
clouds that forebode a storm.
to have a strong inner feeling or notion of (a future misfortune, evil, catastrophe, etc.); have a presentiment of.
verb (used without object), foreboded, foreboding.
to prophesy.
to have a presentiment.
Origin of forebode
First recorded in 1595-1605; fore- + bode1
Related forms
foreboder, noun
unforeboded, adjective
Can be confused
forbade, forbid, forbidden, forebode.
1. foreshadow, presage, forecast, augur. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for forebode
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Yes, it surely must be the banshee, and what does it forebode?

    The Heir of Kilfinnan W.H.G. Kingston
  • What should be the next arrow from her quiver she trembled to forebode.

  • The expression of her face was so tragic that it seemed to forebode evil.

    A Country Sweetheart Dora Russell
  • Perhaps—but her tone did not forebode a cheerful conversation.

    Mrs. Maxon Protests Anthony Hope
  • If she did not appear it might forebode the very worst of disasters.

    Anxious Audrey Mabel Quiller-Couch
  • As for the sufferings which you forebode for me, they are really very tolerable.

  • After it, for this day, it seemed not worth while to grieve and miserably to forebode.

    1492 Mary Johnston
  • There are, however, several that by their cry, forebode evil.

    The Manbos of Mindano

    John M. Garvan
  • Dorothy came reluctantly, haunted with a forebode of impending griefs.

    The President

    Alfred Henry Lewis
British Dictionary definitions for forebode


to warn of or indicate (an event, result, etc) in advance
to have an intuition or premonition of (an event)
Derived Forms
foreboder, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for forebode

"feel a secret premonition," c.1600, from fore- + bode. Related: Foreboded; foreboding. Old English forebodian meant "to announce, declare."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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