foretell


foretell
foretell, predict, forecast, prophesy, prognosticate, augur, presage, portend, forebode are comparable when meaning to tell something before it happens through special knowledge or occult power. Foretell and predict are frequently interchangeable, but foretell stresses the announcement of coming events and does not, apart from a context, indicate the nature of the agent's power or the source of his information
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some sorcerer . . . had foretold, dying, that none of all our blood should know the shadow from the substance— Tennyson

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the marvelous exactness with which eclipses are foretoldDarrow

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Predict commonly implies inference from facts or accepted laws of nature; it often connotes scientific accuracy in foretelling
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Mr. Brooke's conclusions were as difficult to predict as the weather— George Eliot

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an astronomer predicts the return of a comet

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Gamow predicted that the explanation of the sun's heat, light, and energy would be found to lie in thermonuclear reactions— Current Biog.

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Forecast may occasionally imply taking forethought of the future (as by anticipation, conjecture of possible eventualities, and provision for one's needs)
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a prudent builder should forecast how long the stuff is like to last— Swift

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More often it implies prediction, but it still retains the implication of anticipated eventualities
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forecast the weather

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since hurricanes have been forecast, losses in life and property have dwindled

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when the votes began to be counted . . . the return of the Republicans was forecastPaxson

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Prophesy either connotes inspired or mystic knowledge or implies great assurance in prediction
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ancestral voices prophesying war—Coleridge

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wrinkled benchers often talked of him approvingly, and prophesied his rise— Tennyson

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Prognosticate implies prediction based upon signs or symptoms
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a skillful physician can prognosticate the course of most diseases

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for the last three hundred years the relation of Church to State has been constantly undergoing change .... I am not concerned with prognosticating their future relations— T. S. Eliot

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Prognosticate and the following words also are comparable in the related sense of to betoken or foreshow future events or conditions
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everything seems to prognosticate a hard winter— Cobbett

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Augur implies a divining or a foreshadowing of something pleasant or unpleasant often through interpretation of omens or signs
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the morrow brought a very sober-looking morning . . . Catherine augured from it everything most favorable to her wishes— Austen

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Presage and portend more often imply foreshowing than foretelling, though both senses are found. Both also typically suggest occult power or an ability to interpret signs and omens as a basis for prediction, but presage may be used of neutral or of favorable as well as unfavorable prognostications, whereas portend regularly suggests a threat of evil or disaster
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lands he could measure, terms and tides presageGoldsmith

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the yellow and vapory sunset . . . had presaged change— Hardy

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some great misfortune to portend, no enemy can match a friend— Swift

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his sign in the high heavens portended war— Kipling

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Forebode implies unfavorable prognostication based especially upon premonitions, presentiments, or dreams
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oppressed by a foreboding of evil

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Analogous words: divine, foreknow, *foresee, anticipate, apprehend: announce, *declare, proclaim: *reveal, divulge, disclose, discover: forewarn, *warn

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Foretell — Fore*tell , v. i. To utter predictions. Acts iii. 24. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Foretell — Fore*tell , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Foretold}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Foretelling}.] To predict; to tell before occurence; to prophesy; to foreshow. [1913 Webster] Deeds then undone my faithful tongue foretold. Pope. [1913 Webster] Prodigies, foretelling… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • foretell — index herald, portend, predict, presage, prognosticate, promise (raise expectations) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Bu …   Law dictionary

  • foretell — (v.) c.1300, from FORE (Cf. fore ) + TELL (Cf. tell). Related: Foretold; foretelling …   Etymology dictionary

  • foretell — [v] predict, warn adumbrate, announce, anticipate, apprehend, augur, auspicate, betoken, bode, call, call it*, call the shot*, crystal ball it*, declare, disclose, divine, divulge, dope*, dope out*, figure, figure out*, forebode, forecast,… …   New thesaurus

  • foretell — ► VERB (past and past part. foretold) ▪ predict. DERIVATIVES foreteller noun …   English terms dictionary

  • foretell — [fôr tel′] vt. foretold, foretelling [ME foretellen, prob. transl. of L praedicere] to tell, announce, or indicate beforehand; prophesy; predict foreteller n …   English World dictionary

  • foretell — transitive verb (foretold; telling) Date: 14th century to tell beforehand ; predict • foreteller noun Synonyms: foretell, predict, forecast, prophesy, prognosticate mean to tell beforehand. foretell applies to the telling of the coming of a… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • foretell — verb 1) the locals can foretell a storm Syn: predict, forecast, prophesy, prognosticate; foresee, anticipate, envisage, envision, see See note at predict 2) dreams can foretell the future …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • foretell — UK [fɔː(r)ˈtel] / US [fɔrˈtel] verb [transitive] Word forms foretell : present tense I/you/we/they foretell he/she/it foretells present participle foretelling past tense foretold UK [fɔː(r)ˈtəʊld] / US [fɔrˈtoʊld] past participle foretold mainly… …   English dictionary


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