transitive verb (foretold; -telling) Date: 14th century to tell beforehand ; predictforeteller noun Synonyms: foretell, predict, forecast, prophesy, prognosticate mean to tell beforehand. foretell applies to the telling of the coming of a future event by any procedure or any source of information <
seers foretold the calamity
. predict commonly implies inference from facts or accepted laws of nature <
astronomers predicted an eclipse
. forecast adds the implication of anticipating eventualities and differs from predict in being usually concerned with probabilities rather than certainties <
forecast snow
. prophesy connotes inspired or mystic knowledge of the future especially as the fulfilling of divine threats or promises <
prophesying a new messiah
. prognosticate is used less often than the other words; it may suggest learned or skilled interpretation, but more often it is simply a colorful substitute for predict or prophesy <
prognosticating the future

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • foretell — foretell, predict, forecast, prophesy, prognosticate, augur, presage, portend, forebode are comparable when meaning to tell something before it happens through special knowledge or occult power. Foretell and predict are frequently interchangeable …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Foretell — Fore*tell , v. i. To utter predictions. Acts iii. 24. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Foretell — Fore*tell , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Foretold}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Foretelling}.] To predict; to tell before occurence; to prophesy; to foreshow. [1913 Webster] Deeds then undone my faithful tongue foretold. Pope. [1913 Webster] Prodigies, foretelling… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • foretell — index herald, portend, predict, presage, prognosticate, promise (raise expectations) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Bu …   Law dictionary

  • foretell — (v.) c.1300, from FORE (Cf. fore ) + TELL (Cf. tell). Related: Foretold; foretelling …   Etymology dictionary

  • foretell — [v] predict, warn adumbrate, announce, anticipate, apprehend, augur, auspicate, betoken, bode, call, call it*, call the shot*, crystal ball it*, declare, disclose, divine, divulge, dope*, dope out*, figure, figure out*, forebode, forecast,… …   New thesaurus

  • foretell — ► VERB (past and past part. foretold) ▪ predict. DERIVATIVES foreteller noun …   English terms dictionary

  • foretell — [fôr tel′] vt. foretold, foretelling [ME foretellen, prob. transl. of L praedicere] to tell, announce, or indicate beforehand; prophesy; predict foreteller n …   English World dictionary

  • foretell — verb 1) the locals can foretell a storm Syn: predict, forecast, prophesy, prognosticate; foresee, anticipate, envisage, envision, see See note at predict 2) dreams can foretell the future …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • foretell — UK [fɔː(r)ˈtel] / US [fɔrˈtel] verb [transitive] Word forms foretell : present tense I/you/we/they foretell he/she/it foretells present participle foretelling past tense foretold UK [fɔː(r)ˈtəʊld] / US [fɔrˈtoʊld] past participle foretold mainly… …   English dictionary

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