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foreground

[fawr-ground, fohr-] /ˈfɔrˌgraʊnd, ˈfoʊr-/
noun
1.
the ground or parts situated, or represented as situated, in the front; the portion of a scene nearest to the viewer (opposed to background).
2.
a prominent or important position; forefront.
Origin
1685-1695
1685-95; fore- + ground1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for fore-ground

foreground

/ˈfɔːˌɡraʊnd/
noun
1.
the part of a scene situated towards the front or nearest to the viewer
2.
the area of space in a perspective picture, depicted as nearest the viewer
3.
a conspicuous or active position
verb
4.
(transitive) to emphasize (an issue, idea, or word)
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
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Word Origin and History for fore-ground

foreground

n.

1690s, in the landscape sense, from fore- + ground (n.). First used in English by Dryden ("Art of Painting"); cf. Dutch voorgrond.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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