[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. foreland,
  2. foreland basin,
  3. foreleg,
  4. forelimb,
  5. forelock,
  6. foremast,
  7. forementioned,
  8. foremilk,
  9. foremost,
  10. foremother

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

British Dictionary definitions for foreman-ship


/ (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


/ (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-ship



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