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[fawr-boh-ding, fohr-] /fɔrˈboʊ dɪŋ, foʊr-/
a prediction; portent.
a strong inner feeling or notion of a future misfortune, evil, etc.; presentiment.
that forebodes, especially evil.
Origin of foreboding
1350-1400; Middle English forbodyng (noun); see forebode, -ing1, -ing2
Related forms
forebodingly, adverb
forebodingness, noun
unforeboding, adjective
Can be confused
forbidding, foreboding. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for forebodingly
Historical Examples
  • He looked after her forebodingly, then turned his eyes toward the Palace Hotel.

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
  • “But where are all the children,” inquired Tom, forebodingly.

    The Cabin on the Prairie

    C. H. (Charles Henry) Pearson
  • Then, what prompted you to speak so strangely and forebodingly?

  • “Morituri te salutant,” said 50 Captain Patterson forebodingly, as the first caravan passed out of Leh.

  • "I don'd like der looks oof t'ings," muttered Carl, forebodingly.

    Motor Matt's Air Ship Stanley R. Matthews
  • "I hope I shan't find it all wrong," said Mr. Blyth, forebodingly, as he followed the road to his own house.

    Hide and Seek Wilkie Collins
  • I was sorry for the girl, and intensely, forebodingly sorry for her husband.

    The Lady of the Basement Flat Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • When Milly turned on the electric light in the little apartment, it was forebodingly still.

    One Woman's Life Robert Herrick
  • Grasping Pierre's arm, Isabel eagerly and forebodingly demands what is the cause of this most strange and unpleasant transition.

    Pierre; or The Ambiguities Herman Melville
  • The old man shook his head, forebodingly, as Hugh's form disappeared down the trail.

    Ande Trembath

    Matthew Stanley Kemp
British Dictionary definitions for forebodingly


a feeling of impending evil, disaster, etc
an omen or portent
presaging something
Derived Forms
forebodingly, adverb
forebodingness, 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 forebodingly



late 14c., "a predilection, portent, omen," from fore- + verbal noun from bode. Meaning "sense of something bad about to happen" is from c.1600. Old English forebodung meant "prophecy."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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