Definition of foreground in US English:



the foreground
  • 1The part of a view that is nearest to the observer, especially in a picture or photograph.

    ‘the images show vegetation in the foreground’
    • ‘The cyclist in the foreground of the photograph is a few yards into Hertfordshire, whereas the bridge, tunnel, cattle grid and green fields beyond are all part of Greater London.’
    • ‘Mr Daley says the fact that one of the characters in the foreground of the picture is looking through a telescope towards the far right of the picture is evidence that Turner included a second boat in his original.’
    • ‘And that is the casino in the foreground of this photograph?’
    • ‘In the foreground of the first photograph are Murray, his two sons and his best man, the huge luxury boat occupying most of the background belongs to Roman Abramovic, a man who has bought his football success.’
    • ‘Perhaps the most intriguing question of all, though, regards the significance of the baby, which lies asleep, or quite possibly dead, swaddled so expertly in the foreground of the picture.’
    • ‘What the programme did for me was bring a load of things I knew but didn't want to think about right up into the foreground of the picture.’
    • ‘At the bottom of the picture, in the foreground, her left hand cradles a palette.’
    • ‘Although the central character is the man running in the foreground, the picture isn't really about him at all.’
    • ‘In the immediate foreground of the picture and in sharp focus is a single memorial candle.’
    • ‘The artist here sits in the foreground of the picture, his troubled head, larger than life and encircled in red, rises amid shrouded tables, which have the aura of coffins.’
    • ‘In the foreground of the Minneapolis picture Titian, Michelangelo, Clovio and Raphael turn away from the scene to look at something Clovio is pointing out in the distance.’
    • ‘Do you need the kids on the sandbar in the foreground to make the picture?’
    • ‘One cannot but admire the daring juxtaposition of an intimate close-up scene in the foreground with the distant view of boats on the shallow waters of the lagoon.’
    • ‘Depth of Field is merely the area between the foreground and the background in any photograph which has acceptable ‘sharpness’.’
    • ‘He places it in the foreground of the picture, lapping with its little pink tongue at the deep red blood which trickles down the torso of the tortured satyr.’
    • ‘Every inch of the canvas is worked to its ultimate conclusion, with the foreground and background given the same intensity of observation and attention.’
    • ‘In the foreground of this picture is a cowboy galloping hell-bent for election to head off the stampede.’
    • ‘The pronounced distortions of the cobbled street and the seller of musical instruments in the foreground of this picture have provoked critics into a series of conjectures about how it was painted and originally displayed.’
    • ‘This removes the foreground from view and treats the landscape as a panoramic vista rather than a visual extension of the interior space.’
    • ‘The limitations of the Geraldton Harbour are demonstrated by the vessel in the foreground of this picture.’
    front, fore, forefront, forepart, foremost part, nearest part, closest part
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    1. 1.1 The most prominent or important position or situation.
      ‘whenever books are chosen for children, meaning should always be in the foreground’
      • ‘His approach, though, put the texts in the foreground against the backdrop of a social context, and my own is somewhat different.’
      • ‘The positive potential of the Roma should be brought to the foreground, as well as their will to succeed and to find an equal place.’
      • ‘Vanity, the need personally to stand in the foreground as clearly as possible, strongly tempts the politician to commit one or both of these sins.’
      • ‘With the Florida Supreme Court decision ordering a hand count of tens of thousands of ballots across the state, the basic issue in the US election crisis has been thrust to the foreground.’
      • ‘No matter, as one antitrust case fades another begins to move into the foreground.’
      • ‘In the foreground, a situation is presented absent of context, prompting the reader to make assumptions that form the basis of prejudice.’
      • ‘They also inform the wider ontology of war in verse that emerges into the foreground of military victory to ask unanswered questions about race and class.’
      • ‘It may not occupy much of the foreground of my life, but the middle - and back-ground would be drabber without it.’
      • ‘Gladstone's role as leader is emphasized by his prominent position in the foreground.’
      • ‘With the important issue of debt cancellation in the foreground, there was still ample time to discuss other issues.’
      • ‘The big political question is how far that patriotism comes into the foreground, and in what ways.’
      • ‘For a good number of them, prices and allocations occupied but the background, with institutions and conventions occupying the foreground.’
      • ‘There's just something about the situation that brings the thought to the foreground for just the briefest of seconds.’
      • ‘Yes, and just to further disturb you, this notion of bundle of rights as against a holistic concept do not have importance at the foreground if we are dealing with the statute, is that right?’
      • ‘Most, however, have fallen into the background as Simmons and HSAN have moved into the political and public foreground on this issue.’
      • ‘Things change for the second disk, where the static is pushed more prominently into the foreground, at times even obscuring or occluding the loop's march forward.’
      • ‘The collapse of the facade called the ‘Third Way’ is now bringing the real social and political issues to the foreground.’
      • ‘Theirs is a world without violence, without threat - a place where the personal overwhelms the social, and sex and shoes occupy the foreground.’
      • ‘The mixed criticism regarding the pop/rave culture crossover and merger arose from the important space, or foreground, which Britpop occupied in the film.’
      • ‘What is thrust in the foreground are family values, political ideology, and the endurance of the human spirit.’
      forefront, vanguard, van, spearhead, head, lead, fore, front, front line, cutting edge, foremost position, leading position, position of prominence
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[with object]
  • Make (something) the most prominent or important feature.

    ‘sexual relationships are foregrounded and idealized’
    • ‘The neo-liberal order foregrounds one central memory: devaluation and repression of the Other.’
    • ‘This unusual and well-written book instead foregrounds issues relating to identity, nationalism and gender in contemporary literary writing.’
    • ‘Its strength lies in foregrounding the inner recesses of house and home as critical sites of history.’
    • ‘They are also designed to further the interests of Black women by foregrounding their concerns and insights and prioritizing their needs and relationships.’
    • ‘It is precisely this dynamic - the surprise reversal - that foregrounds the underlying assumptions of this statement.’
    • ‘But apart from creating suspense, the novel also foregrounds dialogical questions, handling them dialogically rather than propounding any thesis.’
    • ‘However much modern design foregrounds safety, women remain aware of danger.’
    • ‘The power of condensation in these images may even be enhanced by the editing, which provides an icon of the obscene/modestly unseen and foregrounds the pornographic aspect of these acts of torture.’
    • ‘By mirroring the very gaze that the neighboring advertisement solicits, then, it foregrounds the spectatorial act as a subject for psychological and cultural analysis.’
    • ‘The production's preoccupation with the psychology of dreams foregrounds key notions of control.’
    • ‘The arresting part of this photo is not her femaleness, although foregrounding her gender seems to be the intention, but the condition of her gun, which is old, chipped, and rusty.’
    • ‘Mapping bodies, movement and systems of exchange foregrounds the centrality of connection to human life.’
    • ‘It foregrounds the impact of war on women, and spells out in specific detail what this means.’
    • ‘Families are also foregrounded as an important institution, and individuals are prayed for in terms of their role in a family structure.’
    • ‘Powers does not only want to hold on to embodiment and to difference as human features in the posthuman context, but also foregrounds the importance of agency.’
    • ‘Though humans are never present in the photographs, human presence is emphasised through foregrounding the conscious activity of design.’
    • ‘The associative series gives form to and foregrounds the idea of continuance, embodying the way the past inheres in and deforms the present.’
    • ‘The purpose seems not to directly persuade-the actual product is only mentioned fleetingly or is presented in a frankly exaggerated way that foregrounds the fictionality or hype.’
    • ‘The museum always foregrounds the unresolvable dichotomy between fact and fiction.’
    • ‘The collection also foregrounds some important questions about the Labour government and its agenda.’
    bring attention to, call attention to, draw attention to, focus attention on, highlight, point up, spotlight, foreground, play up, make a point of
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Late 17th century: from fore- + ground, on the pattern of Dutch voorgrond.