Definition of forewarn in English:



  • Inform (someone) of a possible future danger or problem.

    ‘he had been forewarned of a coup plot’
    • ‘I consider myself to be quite dramatic, so if one day I become a successful actress remember that you were forewarned.’
    • ‘Mutterings that it was all too good to be true started long before now and those who forewarned us can take a dubious comfort from these figures.’
    • ‘I was forewarned however that the area was now over-run with tourist shops and restaurants.’
    • ‘Some Welshman told me I had to read this book, though forewarned me that page 136 would induce an embolism.’
    • ‘In an earlier time when I was involved full time in radical politics, I always had cause to forewarn colleagues that having the correct line did not guarantee anyone victory or success in any way.’
    • ‘The attraction of this scheme for the authorities seems to be that it enables them to forewarn partners of previously convicted domestic abusers before these partners become victims themselves.’
    • ‘Really, if that is not something to forewarn us of what is to come, then we can all look forward to the emasculation of our freedoms sooner or later.’
    • ‘What this means is that journalists need to forewarn people of the dangers of certain words and actions that carry the potential of plunging their communities or the nation into chaos.’
    • ‘Since April, cash-machine operators have had a duty to forewarn consumers if their machine would charge.’
    • ‘I believe wholeheartedly my father was forewarned that something was wrong.’
    • ‘Hot colours and Latin memorabilia fight to grab your attention, while the music and chatter forewarn you that you are in for anything but a quiet night.’
    • ‘The writer may, if she wishes, give hints and tips about the unfolding action: she may choose to remind us readers of things we might have forgotten, and forewarn us of events yet to come.’
    • ‘Why wait for the wisdom of hindsight to kick in when there's astrology columns to forewarn you - right?’
    • ‘The Introduction gives the reader all of the information needed to use the books, and forewarns the reader about unusual characteristics and variable growth forms of some aquatic plants.’
    • ‘But I also would forewarn people that commerce on the Internet - once the whole thing gets established, and you have the infrastructure and base for it, is going to be taxed.’
    • ‘Without a location scout to forewarn me, during the two weeks I spent touring around the country I was certainly taken aback by Morocco's diversity.’
    warn, prewarn, warn in advance, give advance warning, give fair warning, give notice, advise, apprise, inform
    harbinger, omen, augury, sign, signal, herald, indication, presage, portent, promise, prediction, forecast, premonition
    View synonyms


  • forewarned is forearmed

    • proverb Prior knowledge of possible dangers or problems gives one a tactical advantage.

      • ‘There wasn't much they could have done but forewarned is forearmed.’
      • ‘This is rather to say that we appreciate the irony of aggressively disseminating such information in order to market protective products, ostensibly in service of increased security on the rationale that forewarned is forearmed.’
      • ‘But forewarned is forearmed, and by understanding the challenges of implementation, executives can work proactively to address them and start taking advantage of the opportunities offered by e-markets.’
      • ‘We are not prepared to discuss what we are planning to do because forewarned is forearmed.’
      • ‘But forewarned is forearmed, and such a triumphant level of offensive defence may be harder to attain this time.’
      • ‘Colonel, if forewarned is forearmed, would it be a good idea to have a supply of antibiotics on hand, to have a gas mask?’
      • ‘Parents need to address this - realise that for a child, forewarned is forearmed.’
      • ‘On the theory that forewarned is forearmed, herewith are some of the gadgets a malicious student could use to cheat on an exam - and some recommendations about how to short-circuit them.’
      • ‘And so, friends, if you feel uncomfortable about laying down money to watch advertisements, remember: forewarned is forearmed.’
      • ‘You'd think forewarned is forearmed, and all that.’