A foreword is a (usually short) piece of writing often found at the beginning of a book or other piece of literature, before the introduction, and written by someone other than the author of the book. A preface, by contrast, is written by the author of the book, although sometimes the two terms are used interchangeably. A preface generally covers the story of how the book came into being, or how the idea for the book was developed; this is often followed by thanks and acknowledgments to people who were helpful to the author during the time of writing. Often, a foreword will tell of some interaction between the writer of the foreword and the story or the writer of the story. A foreword to later editions of a work often explains in what respects that edition differs from previous ones.

If there is an author's preface as well, it follows the foreword. Unlike a preface, a foreword is always signed. Information essential to the main text is generally placed in a set of explanatory notes, or perhaps in an "Introduction" that may be paginated with Arabic numerals, rather than in the foreword. The word "foreword" was first used around the mid-1800s (originally used as a term in philology). It was possibly a translation of the German "Vorwort".

ee also

* Afterword

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  • foreword — foreword, preface Preface is the traditional word (first recorded in the 14c) for the author s introductory remarks at the beginning of a book, normally dealing with the practicalities of the book s development and making due acknowledgements… …   Modern English usage

  • Foreword — Fore word , n. A preface. Furnvall. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • foreword — preface, exordium, *introduction, prologue, prelude, preamble …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • foreword — [n] introduction to a document exordium, overture, preamble, preface, preliminary, prelude, prelusion, proem, prolegomenon, prologue; concept 270 Ant. addendum, epilogue, postscript …   New thesaurus

  • foreword — ► NOUN ▪ a short introduction to a book …   English terms dictionary

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