• synonyms


[uh-fawr-thawt, uh-fohr-]
See more synonyms for aforethought on Thesaurus.com
  1. thought of previously; premeditated (usually used predicatively): with malice aforethought.
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  1. premeditation; forethought.
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Origin of aforethought

First recorded in 1575–85; afore + thought2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for aforethought

Historical Examples

  • Yet invective singles him out for its one object, and so betrays the aforethought malice of its inspiration.

    The Life of Cesare Borgia

    Raphael Sabatini

  • If a Frenchman is ever rude, he is rude with malice prepense and aforethought.

British Dictionary definitions for aforethought


  1. (immediately postpositive) premeditated (esp in the phrase malice aforethought)
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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

Word Origin and History for aforethought


1580s, from afore + past tense of think. Apparently an English loan-translation of Old French legalese word prepense (see prepense) in malice prepense "malice aforethought" (Coke).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper