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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 forewarning
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Some forewarning had been hers when she appealed to her lover for the possession of her children.

  • Then, as if penetrated by a forewarning, I moistened my finger in the water and drew a fish for him.

    Quo Vadis Henryk Sienkiewicz
  • It happened that we had a forewarning of what might be expected.

    The British Expedition to the Crimea William Howard Russell
  • He joked about it then, as now, but there was the forewarning of death in it.

    Hawthorne and His Circle Julian Hawthorne
  • How should he use the weapon which Lettice had put into his hand by forewarning him?

    Name and Fame Adeline Sergeant
  • I have a sort of forewarning that I ain't agoing to walk straight into this thing.

    Dixie Hart Will N. Harben
  • Only a Farfan escaped, not without suspicion of forewarning by the rebels.

    At Last Charles Kingsley
  • Only two texts of forewarning and reassuring Scripture, and then the year of grace 1664.

    Samuel Rutherford Alexander Whyte
  • A draft of hot fetid air swept through the corridor, carrying with it the forewarning of unspeakable things to come.

    Vulcan's Workshop Harl Vincent
British Dictionary definitions for forewarning


(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 forewarning



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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