• synonyms


[fawr-muh n, fohr-]
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noun, plural fore·men.
  1. a person in charge of a particular department, group of workers, etc., as in a factory or the like.
  2. the member of a jury selected to preside over and speak for all the jurors on the panel.
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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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for foreman

superintendent, supervisor, head, honcho, pusher, executive, boss, manager, overseer, taskmaster

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


  1. 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
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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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper