• synonyms


[fawr-wawrn, fohr-]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to warn in advance.
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Origin of forewarn

First recorded in 1300–50, forewarn is from the Middle English word forwarnen. See fore-, warn
Related formsfore·warn·er, nounfore·warn·ing·ly, adverbun·fore·warned, adjectivewell-fore·warned, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

dissuade, admonish, apprise, alarm, tip, portend, flag, advise, alert, telegraph, premonish

Examples from the Web for forewarn

Historical Examples

  • What when they send portents to forewarn the states of Hellas?

    The Memorabilia


  • I left her a short distance from the camp that I might go and forewarn Eric.

  • I forewarn you that people are not in the habit of fighting duels here.

  • I now forewarn you that it may hereafter become the seat of war, when you will have your day.

    The Hour and the Man

    Harriet Martineau

  • I forewarn you that I become incensed when I am made a subject of ridicule.

British Dictionary definitions for forewarn


  1. (tr) to warn beforehand
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Derived Formsforewarner, nounforewarningly, adverb
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 forewarn


early 14c., from fore- + warn. Related: Forewarned; forewarning.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper