[ fawr-ground, fohr- ]
/ ˈfɔrˌgraʊnd, ˈfoʊr- /


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.

Nearby words

  1. forego,
  2. foregoing,
  3. foregone,
  4. foregone conclusion,
  5. foregone conclusion, a,
  6. foregut,
  7. forehand,
  8. forehanded,
  9. forehead,
  10. forehearth

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

British Dictionary definitions for foreground


/ (ˈfɔːˌɡraʊnd) /


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