[ fawr-muh n, fohr- ]
/ ˈfɔr mən, ˈfoʊr- /

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

British Dictionary definitions for foreman (1 of 2)


/ (ˈfɔːmən) /

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

British Dictionary definitions for foreman (2 of 2)


/ (ˈfɔːmən) /


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