• 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


Examples from the Web for forewarned

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Besides, it seems that you alone were forewarned of this sudden departure.

  • You'll forgive me for frightening you, but it is best you should be forewarned.

    The Downfall

    Emile Zola

  • If I had been a prophet I should have been forewarned and, consequently, forearmed.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Yet it was impossible he should have been forewarned; impossible he could have had word of how they proposed to deal with him.

    St. Martin's Summer

    Rafael Sabatini

  • Forewarned by the present, I make no doubt you will prepare to receive him fittingly.

    The Tavern Knight

    Rafael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for forewarned


  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 forewarned



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper