[fawr-muh n, fohr-]

noun, plural fore·men.

a person in charge of a particular department, group of workers, etc., as in a factory or the like.
the member of a jury selected to preside over and speak for all the jurors on the panel.

Origin of foreman

1175–1225; Middle English forman chief servant, steward. See fore-, man1
Related formsfore·man·ship, nounsub·fore·man, noun, plural sub·fore·men.sub·fore·man·ship, noun

Usage note

See -man. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for foreman

Contemporary Examples of foreman

Historical Examples of foreman

  • Shorty was a sort of foreman, and was allowed much freedom of speech.

  • He was, in fact, a slayer of beasts—a foreman at the slaughter-house.

    The Slave Of The Lamp

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • The foreman only glanced at him in silence, and the young man took this for assent.

  • He offered the papers to Mr. Parker, but the foreman shook his head.

  • "I guess my foreman was right," he told his wife, that evening, with a little satisfaction.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

British Dictionary definitions for foreman


noun plural -men

a person, often experienced, who supervises other workmenGender-neutral form: supervisor
law the principal juror, who presides at the deliberations of a juryFemale equivalent: forewoman
Derived Formsforemanship, noun



George . born 1949, US boxer: world heavyweight champion (1973–74); retired in 1977 but re-entered the ring in 1987 and won the heavyweight championship in 1994 at age 45
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 foreman

1530s in the sense of "principal juror;" 1570s in the sense of "principal workman;" from fore- + man (n.). Earliest attested meaning (early 13c.) was "a leader." In 17c., a slang word for "penis."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper