[fawr-tel, fohr-]

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

to tell of beforehand; predict; prophesy.

Nearby words

  1. forestland,
  2. forestry,
  3. forestville,
  4. foreswear,
  5. foretaste,
  6. forethought,
  7. forethoughtful,
  8. foretime,
  9. foretoken,
  10. foretold

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

Examples from the Web for foretold

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