To foretell is to predict or hint at something. Some people believe that two crows foretell good luck for the person who sees them.

Signs and omens foretell good or bad fortune, and symbolism in the early chapters of a novel can foretell events that happen near the end of the book. Longtime sailors sometimes say that a pink morning sky foretells bad weather later in the day. In each case, something is being foreshadowed or forecast. Fore is an Old English prefix that means "before" or "earlier," and it's combined here with tell, "to reckon or consider."

Definitions of foretell

v foreshadow or presage

announce, annunciate, harbinger, herald
Type of:
let something be known

v indicate by signs

augur, auspicate, betoken, bode, forecast, foreshadow, omen, portend, predict, prefigure, presage, prognosticate
to be a menacing indication of something:"The clouds threaten rain"
foretell by divine inspiration
Type of:
bespeak, betoken, indicate, point, signal
be a signal for or a symptom of

v make a prediction about; tell in advance

anticipate, call, forebode, predict, prognosticate, promise
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interpret the significance of, as of palms, tea leaves, intestines, the sky; also of human behavior
outguess, second-guess
attempt to anticipate or predict
predict from an omen
bet, wager
maintain with or as if with a bet
calculate, forecast
predict in advance
prophesy, vaticinate
predict or reveal through, or as if through, divine inspiration
divine by gazing into crystals
foretell through or as if through the power of prophecy
enlighten, irradiate
give spiritual insight to; in religion
Type of:
guess, hazard, pretend, venture
put forward, of a guess, in spite of possible refutation

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