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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.
Origin of foreman
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for foreman
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The foreman, who had not spoken, sat motionless on the further side of the table regarding Stratton steadily.

    Shoe-Bar Stratton Joseph Bushnell Ames
  • He was, in fact, a slayer of beasts—a foreman at the slaughter-house.

    The Slave Of The Lamp Henry Seton Merriman
  • I've got a ten-acre orange grove now and two hundred acres of alfalfa and a foreman who lets me gad!

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • The foreman only glanced at him in silence, and the young man took this for assent.

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
  • The foreman turned his pony about and slowly towed cook and boy ashore.

    The Pony Rider Boys in Texas Frank Gee Patchin
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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