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[fawr-see, fohr-] /fɔrˈsi, foʊr-/
verb (used with object), foresaw, foreseen, foreseeing.
to have prescience of; to know in advance; foreknow.
to see beforehand.
verb (used without object), foresaw, foreseen, foreseeing.
to exercise foresight.
Origin of foresee
before 900; Middle English; Old English foresēon. See fore-, see1
Related forms
foreseeable, adjective
foreseeability, noun
foreseer, noun
unforeseeable, adjective
unforeseeableness, noun
unforeseeably, adverb
unforeseeing, adjective
unforeseen, adjective
well-foreseen, adjective
1. divine, discern. See predict. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for foresaw
  • Six in ten said the oceans would be less healthy than they are now, and seven in ten foresaw a major energy crisis.
  • He was eager to join in the fight which he foresaw as sooner or later inevitable.
  • He would need also satisfaction for his physical desires: that she foresaw and planned to provide.
  • Neither the markets nor the economists foresaw the consequences.
  • Few foresaw even the possibility of it when he was inaugurated.
  • The government, which never foresaw such an eventuality, seems unsure.
  • Nobody foresaw the seismic events of the next eight years.
  • Last year, protocols were agreed that foresaw an establishment of diplomatic relations and an opening of the border.
  • The world economy grew faster for longer than anyone foresaw.
  • We had exit surveys predicting big wins but nobody foresaw the landslides.
British Dictionary definitions for foresaw


verb -sees, -seeing, -saw, -seen
(transitive; may take a clause as object) to see or know beforehand: he did not foresee that
Derived Forms
foreseeable, adjective
foreseer, noun
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 foresaw



Old English foreseon "have a premonition," from fore- "before" + seon "to see, see ahead" (see see (v.)). Related: Foresaw; foreseeing; foreseen.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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