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[fawr-shad-oh, fohr-] /fɔrˈʃæd oʊ, foʊr-/
verb (used with object)
to show or indicate beforehand; prefigure:
Political upheavals foreshadowed war.
Origin of foreshadow
First recorded in 1570-80; fore- + shadow
Related forms
foreshadower, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for foreshadowing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There must have been a foreshadowing in her soul of the man's reliability, though she knew it not.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • Diana watched this foreshadowing of tragedy with tight lips, pale cheeks.

    Mistress Wilding Rafael Sabatini
  • This is no mere jest, but a foreshadowing of Pietro Aretino.

  • I asked, wondering at my indifference to this foreshadowing of triumph.

    The Plum Tree David Graham Phillips
  • Before I knew the history of the saints, I had a foreshadowing of their ecstasy.

    Romola George Eliot
British Dictionary definitions for foreshadowing


(transitive) to show, indicate, or suggest in advance; presage
Derived Forms
foreshadower, 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 foreshadowing



1570s, from fore- + shadow (v.); the notion is of a shadow thrown before an advancing material object as an image of something suggestive of what is to come. Related: Foreshadowed; foreshadowing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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