[fawr-bohd, fohr-]
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verb (used with object), fore·bod·ed, fore·bod·ing.
  1. to foretell or predict; be an omen of; indicate beforehand; portend: clouds that forebode a storm.
  2. to have a strong inner feeling or notion of (a future misfortune, evil, catastrophe, etc.); have a presentiment of.
verb (used without object), fore·bod·ed, fore·bod·ing.
  1. to prophesy.
  2. to have a presentiment.

Origin of forebode

First recorded in 1595–1605; fore- + bode1
Related formsfore·bod·er, nounun·fore·bod·ed, adjective
Can be confusedforbade forbid forbidden forebode

Synonyms for forebode

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of forebode

British Dictionary definitions for forebode


  1. to warn of or indicate (an event, result, etc) in advance
  2. to have an intuition or premonition of (an event)
Derived Formsforeboder, 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

Word Origin and History for forebode

"feel a secret premonition," c.1600, from fore- + bode. Related: Foreboded; foreboding. Old English forebodian meant "to announce, declare."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper