[fawr-shad-oh, fohr-]

verb (used with object)

to show or indicate beforehand; prefigure: Political upheavals foreshadowed war.

Origin of foreshadow

First recorded in 1570–80; fore- + shadow
Related formsfore·shad·ow·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for foreshadowing

Contemporary Examples of foreshadowing

Historical Examples of foreshadowing

  • There must have been a foreshadowing in her soul of the man's reliability, though she knew it not.


    W. A. Fraser

  • Diana watched this foreshadowing of tragedy with tight lips, pale cheeks.

    Mistress Wilding

    Rafael Sabatini

  • This is no mere jest, but a foreshadowing of Pietro Aretino.

  • I asked, wondering at my indifference to this foreshadowing of triumph.

    The Plum Tree

    David Graham Phillips

  • Before I knew the history of the saints, I had a foreshadowing of their ecstasy.


    George Eliot

British Dictionary definitions for foreshadowing



(tr) to show, indicate, or suggest in advance; presage
Derived Formsforeshadower, noun
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 foreshadowing



1570s, from fore- + shadow (v.); the notion is of a shadow thrown before an advancing material object as an image of something suggestive of what is to come. Related: Foreshadowed; foreshadowing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper