[fawr-tel, fohr-]

verb (used with object), fore·told, fore·tell·ing.

to tell of beforehand; predict; prophesy.

Origin of foretell

First recorded in 1250–1300, foretell is from the Middle English word fortell. See fore-, tell1
Related formsfore·tell·er, nounun·fore·told, adjective

Synonyms for foretell Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for foretold

Contemporary Examples of foretold

Historical Examples of foretold

  • Now learn what you must do, if you would avert all the evils which I have foretold.

  • "If the witchwife had not foretold it I should say that I dreamed," thought the old poet.

  • As the fair Rosa, with foreboding doubt, had foretold, so it happened.

    The Black Tulip

    Alexandre Dumas (Pere)

  • As Turkey had foretold, she darted aside, and I retreated behind my stone.

  • Where are the breakings out from Berwick to Portland which they foretold?

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

British Dictionary definitions for foretold


verb -tells, -telling or -told

(tr; may take a clause as object) to tell or indicate (an event, a result, etc) beforehand; predict
Derived Formsforeteller, 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 foretold



c.1300, from fore- + tell (v.). Related: Foretold; foretelling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper