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[fawr-noh, fohr-]
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verb (used with object), fore·knew, fore·known, fore·knowing.
  1. to know beforehand.
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Origin of foreknow

First recorded in 1400–50, foreknow is from the late Middle English word foreknowen. See fore-, know1
Related formsfore·know·a·ble, adjectivefore·know·er, nounfore·know·ing·ly, adverbun·fore·know·a·ble, adjectiveun·fore·known, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

visualize, foresee, deduce, foretell, discern, infer, surmise, predict, await, forecast, suppose, take, think, hope, perceive, understand, expect, presage, envisage, signify

Examples from the Web for foreknow

Historical Examples

  • Besides, how came it to pass that this prophet did not foreknow his own death at the first?

    Against Apion

    Flavius Josephus

  • And when you foreknow his design, will you let him overcome?

  • Precisely how it will be distributed it is impossible to foreknow.

  • Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate, to be conformed to the image of his Son.

  • Whom God did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.

British Dictionary definitions for foreknow


verb -knows, -knowing, -knew or -known
  1. (tr) to know in advance
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Derived Formsforeknowable, adjectiveforeknowledge, nounforeknowingly, 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