fore (adj.) Look up fore at
mid-15c., "forward;" late 15c., "former, earlier;" early 16c., "at the front;" all senses apparently from fore- compounds, which frequently were written as two words in Middle English.
fore- Look up fore- at
from fore (adv.), which was used as a prefix in Old English and other Germanic languages with a sense of "before in time, rank, position," etc., or designating the front part or earliest time.
forearm (n.) Look up forearm at
1741, from fore- + arm (n.1).
forearm (v.) Look up forearm at
1590s, from fore- + arm (v.) "take up weapons." Related: Forearmed; forearming.
forebear Look up forebear at
see forbear. Related: Forebearance; forebears.
forebode (v.) Look up forebode at
"feel a secret premonition," c.1600, from fore- + bode. Related: Foreboded; foreboding. Old English forebodian meant "to announce, declare."
foreboding (n.) Look up foreboding at
late 14c., "a predilection, portent, omen," from fore- + verbal noun from bode. Meaning "sense of something bad about to happen" is from c.1600. Old English forebodung meant "prophecy."
forecast (v.) Look up forecast at
late 14c., "to scheme," from fore- "before" + casten in the sense of "contrive, plan, prepare" (late 14c.; see cast (v.)). Meaning "predict events" first attested late 15c. (cast (v.) "to perceive, notice" is from late 14c.). Related: Forecasted; forecasting.
forecast (n.) Look up forecast at
early 15c., probably from forecast (v.); earliest sense was "forethought, prudence;" meaning "conjectured estimate of a future course" is from 1670s. A Middle English word for weather forecasting was aeromancy.
forecaster (n.) Look up forecaster at
1630s, agent noun from forecast (v.).
forecastle (n.) Look up forecastle at
c.1400, earlier Anglo-French forechasteil (mid-14c.), from Middle English fore- "before" + Anglo-French castel "fortified tower," the short raised deck in the fore part of the ship used in warfare (see castle (n.)). Spelling fo'c'sle reflects sailors' pronunciation.
foreclose (v.) Look up foreclose at
late 13c., from Old French forclos, past participle of forclore "exclude" (12c.), from fors "out" (Modern French hors; from Latin foris "outside;" see foreign) + clore "to shut" (see close (v.)). Senses in English influenced by words in for-. Specific mortgage law sense is first attested 1728. Related: Foreclosed; foreclosing.
foreclosure (n.) Look up foreclosure at
1728, from foreclose + -ure.
forefather (n.) Look up forefather at
"ancestor," c.1300, from fore- + father (n.); perhaps directly from Old Norse forfaðir.
forefinger (n.) Look up forefinger at
mid-15c., from fore- + finger (n.). So called because it is considered the first next to the thumb.
forefront (n.) Look up forefront at
late 15c., a Germanic-Latin hybrid, from fore- + front (n.). Originally of buildings; the main modern sense is from military meaning "front rank of an army" (1510s).
forego (v.) Look up forego at
"to go before," Old English foregan "to go before," from fore- + go. The similarly constructed foredone "killed, destroyed," now is archaic, replaced by done for. Related: Foregoing; foregone.

Phrase foregone conclusion popularized in "Othello" [III.iii], but Shakespeare's sense was not necessarily the main modern one of "a decision already formed before the case is argued." Othello says it of Cassio's dream, and it is clear from the context that Othello means Cassio actually has been in bed with Desdemona before he allegedly dreamed it.
foreground (n.) Look up foreground at
1690s, in the landscape sense, from fore- + ground (n.). First used in English by Dryden ("Art of Painting"); compare Dutch voorgrond.
forehand Look up forehand at
tennis stroke, 1879 (adj.), 1909 (n.), from fore- + hand (n.). Earlier it meant "position in front or above" (16c.); hence forehanded "prudent, careful of the future" (1640s), hence "well-provided, well-to-do," which lingered longer in New England. Earliest use of the word is in archery, forehand shaft "arrow for shooting straight in front" (1540s).
forehead (n.) Look up forehead at
Old English forheafod, from fore- + heafod (see head (n.)).
foreign (adj.) Look up foreign at
mid-13c., ferren, foreyne "out of doors," from Old French forain "strange, foreign; outer, external, outdoor; remote, out-of-the-way" (12c.), from Medieval Latin foranus "on the outside, exterior," from Latin foris "outside," literally "out of doors," related to for1s "door," from PIE *dhwor-ans-, from root *dhwer- "door, doorway" (see door). Spelling altered 17c. perhaps by influence of reign, sovereign. Replaced native fremd. Sense of "not in one's own land" is first attested late 14c.
foreigner (n.) Look up foreigner at
early 15c., foreyner; see foreign + -er (1).
In ordinary use chiefly applied to those who speak a foreign language as their native tongue; thus in England the term is not commonly understood to include Americans. [OED]
In the U.S. from 1620s through mid-19c., however, it was used of a person from a different colony or state.
foreknowledge (n.) Look up foreknowledge at
1530s, from fore- + knowledge. Compare foreknow "to know beforehand" (late 14c.).
foreleg (n.) Look up foreleg at
late 15c., from fore- + leg (n.).
forelock (n.) Look up forelock at
"lock of hair growing above the forehead," Old English forelocca; see fore- + lock (n.2).
"Opportunity has hair in front, behind she is bald; if you seize her by the forelock, you may hold her; but, if she once escapes, not Jupiter himself can catch her again." ["Dictionary of Latin Quotations, Proverbs, Maxims and Mottos," H.T. Riley, London, 1866]
foreman (n.) Look up foreman at
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."
forementioned (adj.) Look up forementioned at
1580s; see fore- + mention (v.). A verb foremention is attested from 1650s.
foremost (adj.) Look up foremost at
Old English fyrmest "earliest, first, most prominent," from Proto-Germanic *formo- (related to Old English fruma "beginning"), superlative of the root of fore + additional superlative suffix -est. See -most, and similarly formed Old Frisian formest, Gothic frumists. Altered on the assumption that it is a compound of fore and most.
forename (n.) Look up forename at
1530s, from fore- + name (n.). The equivalent of Latin praenomen.
forenoon (n.) Look up forenoon at
c.1500, from fore- + noon.
forensic (adj.) Look up forensic at
"pertaining to or suitable for courts of law," 1650s, from Latin forensis "of a forum, place of assembly," from forum "public place" (see forum). Used in sense of "pertaining to legal trials," as in forensic medicine (1845). Related: Forensical (1580s).
foreordained (adj.) Look up foreordained at
early 15c., for-ordenede; see fore- + ordain (v.). A hybrid word. Related: Foreordain.
foreplay (n.) Look up foreplay at
in sexual sense, by 1911, from fore- + play (n.). Earlier as a theatrical term (by 1857).
In fact the poem which Mr. Brooks has translated is but the "prologue to the swelling theme," the fore-play to the actual drama of Faust. ["The Christian Examiner and Religious Miscellany," Jan.-May 1857]
forerunner (n.) Look up forerunner at
c.1300, from fore + runner. Middle English rendition of Latin praecursor, in reference to John the Baptist as the forerunner of Christ. The Old English word was foreboda.
foresee (v.) Look up foresee at
Old English foreseon "have a premonition," from fore- "before" + seon "to see, see ahead" (see see (v.)). Related: Foresaw; foreseeing; foreseen.
foreseeable (adj.) Look up foreseeable at
1804, from foresee + -able. Related: Foreseeably.
foreshadow (v.) Look up foreshadow at
1570s, from fore- + shadow (v.); the notion is of a shadow thrown before an advancing material object as an image of something suggestive of what is to come. Related: Foreshadowed; foreshadowing.
foreshorten (v.) Look up foreshorten at
c.1600, from fore- + shorten. Related: Foreshortened; foreshortening.
foresight (n.) Look up foresight at
c.1300, from fore- + sight (n.). Compare German Vorsicht "attention, caution, cautiousness."
foreskin (n.) Look up foreskin at
1530s, from fore- + skin (n.). A loan-translation of Latin prepuce.
forest (n.) Look up forest at
late 13c., "extensive tree-covered district," especially one set aside for royal hunting and under the protection of the king, from Old French forest "forest, wood, woodland" (Modern French forêt), probably ultimately from Late Latin/Medieval Latin forestem silvam "the outside woods," a term from the Capitularies of Charlemagne denoting "the royal forest;" perhaps via Old High German forst, from Latin foris "outside" (see foreign), with a sense of "beyond the park," the park being the main or central fenced woodland.

Another theory traces it through Medieval Latin forestis, originally "forest preserve, game preserve," from Latin forum in legal sense "court, judgment;" in other words "land subject to a ban" [Buck]. Replaced Old English wudu.
forest (v.) Look up forest at
1818 (forested is attested from 1610s), from forest (n.).
forestall (v.) Look up forestall at
late 14c. (implied in forestalling), "to lie in wait for;" also "to intercept goods before they reach public markets and buy them privately" (formerly a crime; mid-14c. in this sense in Anglo-French), from Old English noun foresteall "intervention, hindrance (of justice); an ambush, a waylaying," literally "a standing before (someone)," from fore- "before" + steall "standing position" (see stall (n.1)). Modern sense of "to anticipate and delay" is from 1580s. Related: Forestalled; forestalling.
forester (n.) Look up forester at
late 13c. (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French forestier "forest ranger, forest-dweller" (also, as an adjective, "wild, rough, coarse, unsociable"), from forest (see forest (n.)).
forestry (n.) Look up forestry at
1690s, "privilege of a royal forest," from Old French foresterie, from forest (see forest). Meaning "science of managing forests" is from 1859.
foretaste (n.) Look up foretaste at
early 15c., from fore- + taste (n.). As a verb, from mid-15c.
foretell (v.) Look up foretell at
c.1300, from fore- + tell (v.). Related: Foretold; foretelling.
forethought (n.) Look up forethought at
c.1300, from fore- + thought. Old English had foreðencan "to premeditate, consider."
foretime (n.) Look up foretime at
1530s, from fore- + time (n.).
forever (adv.) Look up forever at
late 14c., for ever; from for + ever. One word from late 17c.