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[fawr-tel, fohr-] /fɔrˈtɛl, foʊr-/
verb (used with object), foretold, foretelling.
to tell of beforehand; predict; prophesy.
Origin of foretell
1250-1300; Middle English fortell. See fore-, tell1
Related forms
foreteller, noun
unforetold, adjective
forecast, augur, presage, forebode. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for foretold
  • It was a dream come true, really, and it foretold that something big was right around the corner.
  • It was a marriage perhaps foretold in her own diary.
  • But they reached too far, and their best efforts were not enough to create the sustained endeavor their vision foretold.
  • How far the conference will succeed in reaching sane conclusions along these lines cannot, of course, be foretold.
  • Over the centuries, many madmen have foretold the precise time that the world would end, only to be disappointed.
  • But he was fighting, also, with the consciousness that what he foretold had come true.
  • However, he clearly foretold them, that this delay would not exceed six months.
British Dictionary definitions for foretold


verb -tells, -telling, -told
(transitive; may take a clause as object) to tell or indicate (an event, a result, etc) beforehand; predict
Derived Forms
foreteller, 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 foretold



c.1300, from fore- + tell (v.). Related: Foretold; foretelling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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