"indicate beforehand," 1570s, figurative, from fore- + shadow (v.); the notion seems to be a shadow thrown before an advancing material object as an image of something suggestive of what is to come. Related: Foreshadowed; foreshadowing. As a noun from 1831. Old English had forescywa "shadow," forescywung "overshadowing."
updated on December 19, 2014