• synonyms


[fawr-shad-oh, fohr-]
See more synonyms for foreshadow on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to show or indicate beforehand; prefigure: Political upheavals foreshadowed war.
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Origin of foreshadow

First recorded in 1570–80; fore- + shadow
Related formsfore·shad·ow·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

prefigure, predict, portend, imply, foretell, augur, presage, omen, hint, suggest, signal, betoken, adumbrate, forebode, promise, shadow, bode, prophesy, telegraph

Examples from the Web for foreshadowing

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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


  1. (tr) to show, indicate, or suggest in advance; presage
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper