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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 foreseeable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There appear to be no reasons why others of similar proportions should occur in the foreseeable future.

    Area Handbook for Bulgaria Eugene K. Keefe, Violeta D. Baluyut, William Giloane, Anne K. Long, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole
  • Certainly, no one likes to be rationed on water and meat throughout the foreseeable future.

    Rebels of the Red Planet Charles Louis Fontenay
  • In the foreseeable future they are not likely to be significantly lower.

  • These kept changing by the year and hour, and will continue to change for the foreseeable and unforeseeable future.

  • We set no limitation whatever as to quantity and with no foreseeable limit as to time.

    Masters of Space Edward Elmer Smith
British Dictionary definitions for foreseeable


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 foreseeable

1804, from foresee + -able. Related: Foreseeably.



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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