[fawr-ground, fohr-]


the ground or parts situated, or represented as situated, in the front; the portion of a scene nearest to the viewer (opposed to background).
a prominent or important position; forefront.

Origin of foreground

First recorded in 1685–95; fore- + ground1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for foreground

Contemporary Examples of foreground

Historical Examples of foreground

  • But this was not so startling as what it showed in the foreground.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • And the foreground—if the Little Doctor could get that, now, she would be doing something!

  • For a long time Linda sat with poised pencil, studying her foreground.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • He can give the effect of light and shade, brightness, foreground and background.

    Albert Durer

    T. Sturge Moore

  • But the exquisite drawing of the foreground is especially worthy of notice.

British Dictionary definitions for foreground



the part of a scene situated towards the front or nearest to the viewer
the area of space in a perspective picture, depicted as nearest the viewer
a conspicuous or active position


(tr) to emphasize (an issue, idea, or word)
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 foreground

1690s, in the landscape sense, from fore- + ground (n.). First used in English by Dryden ("Art of Painting"); cf. Dutch voorgrond.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper