Definition of foreboding in English:



  • Fearful apprehension; a feeling that something bad will happen.

    ‘with a sense of foreboding she read the note’
    • ‘However, at least one of the public's forebodings has been realised.’
    • ‘And yet even with nothing but a future looming with gloomy forebodings, they repopulated the barren wasteland of space, bracing for the worst, testing the extents of their tenacity and ingenuity.’
    • ‘I am only sorry that all my forebodings have been justified.’
    • ‘Some will claim the latest uproar vindicates their forebodings.’
    • ‘The sense of fatalism and foreboding has been spread from the top downwards, by authorities whose primary concern appears to be to inoculate themselves against the charge of not doing enough.’
    • ‘There is a sense of foreboding about this ridge, too.’
    • ‘The others she talked to all had different opinions and varying forebodings, but had no problem accepting their essential obligation to participate in what appeared to be an inevitable conflict.’
    • ‘A side who had trooped off with a sense of foreboding against the Swedes somehow re-emerged five nights later, entirely recuperated and forming an unrecognisably more confident unit.’
    • ‘The bright orange liquid that seeped through the gashes resembled blood, giving him an unpleasant sense of foreboding.’
    • ‘When parents bid an emotional farewell to their offspring at the start of a gap year adventure, their minds are often filled with forebodings.’
    • ‘In the space of only a few months, the word SARS has rolled around the world, bringing panic and fear to some places and a sense of foreboding to others.’
    • ‘We also know, from recent Japanese research, that US forebodings were well-grounded.’
    • ‘You find yourself laughing and then feeling foolish because as you continue reading, you feel that sense of foreboding that comes when you know good times are just a set up for a tragedy that is sure to ensue.’
    • ‘The forebodings of fascism have been in the air for quite some time.’
    • ‘Something had stirred him prematurely from his sleep about an hour before his alarm would have sounded, and a sense of foreboding coursed through him.’
    • ‘I could feel a sinking sense of dread and foreboding.’
    • ‘He still didn't feel frightened - but he did have an uncomfortable sense of foreboding, the knowledge that something unpleasant was looming in his future.’
    • ‘The world, once more, is filled with dreadful apprehension and a sense of foreboding for the future.’
    • ‘The air is thick with forebodings of terrible things waiting to happen.’
    • ‘A sense of unease and foreboding quickly descended on the crowded chamber, followed by a hush minutes later when confirmation came through of what had happened.’
    apprehension, apprehensiveness, anxiety, perturbation, trepidation, disquiet, disquietude, unease, uneasiness, misgiving, suspicion, worry, fear, fearfulness, dread, alarm
    premonition, presentiment, intuition, feeling, vague feeling, suspicion, inkling, hunch
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  • Implying or seeming to imply that something bad is going to happen.

    ‘when the doctor spoke, his voice was dark and foreboding’
    • ‘Then she stepped beyond the threshold of the dark and foreboding hole in the mountain, and turned on the lights at each side of her helmet.’
    • ‘The Blackcrest Mountains were very tall here, and they stood like foreboding sentinels with their black peaks protruding like worn teeth.’
    • ‘The evening sun was hidden by a dark, foreboding sky.’
    • ‘While ambiguity is probably the most important feature of Nostradamus's prophecies, another notable feature is their dark, foreboding quality.’
    • ‘Eleven maps in total have been implemented, and while they vary quite considerably thematically, most are set in dark, foreboding conditions.’
    • ‘The trinity of terror and their still plentiful outlaw army rode between the cascading waters and into the bat filled womb of darkness leading to a network of ominously foreboding caves.’
    • ‘The colorful scenes tend to be counterbalanced by some dark and foreboding sets, and many shots feature subdued lighting that tends to strain shadow detail.’
    • ‘Cue a sinister clap of thunder and a foreboding flash of lightning.’
    • ‘White and a pale sort of foamy green swirled together on the walls, and the doors were dark blue, ominous and foreboding pits that threatened to cave in before bad news.’
    • ‘Only the King remained seated, yet there was fear in his dark, foreboding eyes.’
    • ‘A dark, foreboding forest surrounded the land with a cobblestone drive leading out and into the rest of the world.’
    • ‘Then during the third level, the trenches reveal an entrance to an underground complex, and the following levels are set deep within this dark and foreboding place.’
    • ‘There it hovered, a dark and foreboding presence, seeming to slather as this new thing to devour came closer.’
    • ‘He walked closer until we stood side by side staring out at the almost foreboding dark horizon.’
    • ‘It is a bleak, imposing and foreboding building, made of huge blocks of black stone.’
    • ‘To many people, caves are just dark and foreboding places, and even researchers can find caves relatively inaccessible and difficult to study.’
    • ‘Christianity in the United States is at a dangerous and foreboding crossroads.’
    • ‘The use of the black and white media works well with the water droplets and the dark sky creating a foreboding feeling, which is in sync with the content of the image.’
    • ‘A noise came from around the dark, foreboding corner.’
    • ‘Animal sounds - the call of birds, the cry of small herbivores and the screams of predators - emanated from the foliage, giving it an ominous, foreboding atmosphere.’
    ominous, glowering, brooding, sinister, menacing, black, thunderous, dark, wintry, gloomy, heavy, dire, ill, evil, baleful, forbidding, doomy, ugly, unpromising, portentous, foreboding, unpropitious, pessimistic, inauspicious, unfavourable, unlucky, ill-fated, dangerous
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