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[fawr-muh n, fohr-] /ˈfɔr mən, ˈfoʊr-/
noun, plural foremen.
a person in charge of a particular department, group of workers, etc., as in a factory or the like.
the member of a jury selected to preside over and speak for all the jurors on the panel.
1175-1225; Middle English forman chief servant, steward. See fore-, man1
Related forms
foremanship, noun
subforeman, noun, plural subforemen.
subforemanship, noun
Usage note
See -man. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for foreman
  • foreman did not return messages left with two of his lawyers.
  • Then the plumbing and electrical foreman come in and mark their details, followed by the drywallers, siding and painters.
  • The foreman of shepherds examines herd on a pasture with the help of binocular.
  • Jury deliberations are led by the leader of the jury, called a jury foreman.
  • The railroad-construction company that employed him, which had thought him a model foreman, refused to take him back.
  • The programmer issues instructions to the computer in much the same way as the foreman at a building site shouts at his workers.
  • Somehow manage the blog as if you were the foreman of a construction crew.
  • foreman looked done for, banging his head on the canvas when he slammed down on his side as if dropped from a great height.
  • The foreman, who had hired them for years, said to try again next week.
  • Each crew has to build a structure with the game's wooden blocks, but only the crew's foreman gets to look at the blueprints.
British Dictionary definitions for foreman


noun (pl) -men
a person, often experienced, who supervises other workmen Gender-neutral form supervisor
(law) the principal juror, who presides at the deliberations of a jury Female equivalent forewoman
Derived Forms
foremanship, noun


George. born 1949, US boxer: world heavyweight champion (1973–74); retired in 1977 but re-entered the ring in 1987 and won the heavyweight championship in 1994 at age 45
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 foreman

1530s in the sense of "principal juror;" 1570s in the sense of "principal workman;" from fore- + man (n.). Earliest attested meaning (early 13c.) was "a leader." In 17c., a slang word for "penis."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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