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[fawr-wawrn, fohr-] /fɔrˈwɔrn, foʊr-/
verb (used with object)
to warn in advance.
Origin of forewarn
First recorded in 1300-50, forewarn is from the Middle English word forwarnen. See fore-, warn
Related forms
forewarner, noun
forewarningly, adverb
unforewarned, adjective
well-forewarned, adjective
caution, admonish, alert, prewarn, tip off. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for forewarned
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Besides, it seems that you alone were forewarned of this sudden departure.

  • You'll forgive me for frightening you, but it is best you should be forewarned.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • If I had been a prophet I should have been forewarned and, consequently, forearmed.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Yet it was impossible he should have been forewarned; impossible he could have had word of how they proposed to deal with him.

    St. Martin's Summer Rafael Sabatini
  • forewarned by the present, I make no doubt you will prepare to receive him fittingly.

    The Tavern Knight Rafael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for forewarned


(transitive) to warn beforehand
Derived Forms
forewarner, noun
forewarningly, adverb
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 forewarned



early 14c., from fore- + warn. Related: Forewarned; forewarning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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