Top 36 Slang For Foreshadow – Meaning & Usage

Foreshadowing is a literary technique that adds depth and intrigue to storytelling. But what about when it comes to everyday conversations? Curious to know how we hint at things to come in casual dialogue? Our team has put together a list of the top slang terms for foreshadowing that will keep you ahead of the game. Stay tuned to uncover these subtle hints and elevate your communication skills!

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1. Hint at

To give a subtle indication or clue about something that will happen in the future. “Hint at” implies a slight suggestion or insinuation rather than a direct statement.

  • For example, “The mysterious phone call seemed to hint at trouble ahead.”
  • In a suspenseful novel, the author might hint at a character’s dark secret through subtle foreshadowing.
  • A movie trailer might hint at a plot twist to pique the audience’s curiosity.

2. Presage

To be a sign or indication of a future event. “Presage” carries a sense of foreboding or ominousness, suggesting that the sign or indication may not be positive.

  • For instance, “The dark clouds presaged an incoming storm.”
  • In literature, an eerie silence might presage a moment of suspense or danger.
  • A sudden drop in stock prices can sometimes presage an economic downturn.

3. Portend

To serve as a warning or sign of a future event, often with a negative connotation. “Portend” suggests a strong or significant foreshadowing.

  • For example, “The black cat crossing the path portends bad luck.”
  • In a horror movie, a sudden gust of wind might portend the arrival of a supernatural entity.
  • A sudden increase in crime rates can portend social unrest.

4. Augur

To predict or indicate a future event, often based on omens or signs. “Augur” implies a sense of divination or prophecy.

  • For instance, “The howling of wolves at night augurs a death in the village.”
  • In ancient times, the appearance of a comet was believed to augur significant events.
  • A sudden power outage can augur a looming natural disaster.

5. Prognosticate

To make a prediction or forecast about a future event, often based on analysis or expert knowledge. “Prognosticate” suggests a more formal or scientific approach to predicting the future.

  • For example, “Economists are prognosticating a recession in the coming year.”
  • A weather forecaster might prognosticate heavy rain and thunderstorms for the weekend.
  • A fortune teller might use tarot cards to prognosticate a person’s future.

6. Foretell

To predict or forecast something that will happen in the future. “Foretell” is often used to indicate a strong sense of certainty in the prediction.

  • For example, a fortune teller might say, “I foretell that you will meet someone special in the near future.”
  • In a fantasy novel, a seer might foretell the protagonist’s destiny.
  • A weather forecast might foretell rain for the next few days.

7. Warn of

To give a warning or indication of something that is likely to happen. “Warn of” implies a sense of caution or alertness.

  • For instance, a teacher might warn of an upcoming pop quiz.
  • A parent might warn of the dangers of crossing the street without looking both ways.
  • A news article might warn of potential scams during the holiday season.

8. Prefigure

To serve as a sign or indication of something that will happen in the future. “Prefigure” suggests that the foreshadowing is subtle or symbolic.

  • For example, dark clouds prefigure an impending storm.
  • In a novel, a character’s dream may prefigure a future event.
  • An artist might use certain colors to prefigure a theme in their painting.

9. Betoken

To indicate or signify something, often through a symbol or sign. “Betoken” suggests that the foreshadowing is meaningful or significant.

  • For instance, a black cat crossing your path is said to betoken bad luck.
  • A red sky at night can betoken good weather for the following day.
  • In literature, a recurring symbol may betoken a recurring theme.
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10. Prophesy

To make a prediction or statement about the future, often with a religious or mystical connotation. “Prophesy” implies a sense of divine or supernatural insight.

  • For example, a prophet might prophesy the coming of a great leader.
  • In mythology, an oracle might prophesy the downfall of a kingdom.
  • A fortune teller might prophesy a major life event for their client.

11. Signify

To signify means to indicate or suggest something. It is often used to describe a situation or event that foreshadows what is to come.

  • For example, “The dark clouds signify an incoming storm.”
  • In a suspenseful movie, a character might say, “The sudden silence signifies that something bad is about to happen.”
  • A fortune teller might interpret a certain symbol as signifying a future event.

12. Portent

A portent is an ominous sign or warning of something to come. It is often used to describe a situation or event that foreshadows a future event, usually something negative.

  • For instance, “The sudden appearance of crows is considered a portent of death.”
  • In a fantasy novel, a character might experience a dream that is seen as a portent of an upcoming battle.
  • A person might say, “The eerie silence in the forest is a portent of an impending danger.”

13. Omen

An omen is a sign or event believed to foretell the future. It is often seen as a sign of fate or destiny, indicating what is to come.

  • For example, “A black cat crossing your path is considered an omen of bad luck.”
  • In ancient times, people would interpret the flight patterns of birds as omens of good or bad fortune.
  • A character in a supernatural TV show might encounter an omen that warns of an upcoming supernatural event.

14. Harbinger

A harbinger is a person or thing that signals or foreshadows the arrival or approach of something. It is often used to describe something or someone that precedes a significant event.

  • For instance, “The first snowfall is often seen as a harbinger of winter.”
  • In a fantasy novel, a comet streaking across the sky might be seen as a harbinger of an impending war.
  • A person might say, “The arrival of migratory birds is a harbinger of spring.”

15. Forebode

To forebode means to predict or anticipate something, especially something negative or harmful. It is often used to describe a feeling or intuition that something bad is about to happen.

  • For example, “The dark clouds and thunder forebode a coming storm.”
  • In a horror movie, a character might say, “The eerie silence in the haunted house forebodes danger.”
  • A person might say, “The sudden drop in stock prices forebodes an economic downturn.”

16. Forecast

To make an estimate or prediction about future events or conditions. “Forecast” can also refer to the weather forecast, which predicts the weather conditions for a specific time period.

  • For example, a meteorologist might say, “The forecast calls for rain tomorrow.”
  • In a business meeting, someone might mention, “Based on the sales forecast, we expect a significant increase in revenue.”
  • A fortune teller might tell a client, “I forecast that you will meet someone special in the near future.”

17. Anticipate

To expect or look forward to something in the future. “Anticipate” can also mean to foresee or predict an event or outcome.

  • For instance, a student might say, “I anticipate receiving my exam results next week.”
  • In a conversation about travel plans, someone might ask, “What do you anticipate will be the highlight of your trip?”
  • A sports fan might anticipate a close game between two rival teams.

18. Prophesize

To make a prediction or prophecy about future events. “Prophesize” is often associated with supernatural or divine foresight.

  • For example, a fortune teller might say, “I prophesize that you will face a major life change in the coming months.”
  • In a discussion about ancient civilizations, someone might mention, “The Mayans were known for their ability to prophesize astronomical events.”
  • A fictional character with magical abilities might say, “I can prophesize the outcome of this battle.”

19. Forewarn

To give advance warning or caution about a potential danger or problem. “Forewarn” implies providing information or insight that can help someone prepare or take necessary precautions.

  • For instance, a weatherman might say, “I want to forewarn everyone that a severe storm is approaching.”
  • In a conversation about a difficult situation, someone might say, “I just wanted to forewarn you that this meeting might be challenging.”
  • A friend might forewarn another, “I heard there will be a surprise party for you, so act surprised!”

20. Foreshow

To indicate or give a hint about something that will happen in the future. “Foreshow” suggests a subtle or symbolic representation of future events.

  • For example, in a mystery novel, the author might foreshow a character’s death by mentioning their fear of a particular location.
  • In a movie, a director might foreshow a character’s betrayal by including subtle visual clues.
  • A fortune teller might foreshow a client’s upcoming success by interpreting specific tarot cards.
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21. Foretoken

A foretoken is a sign or indication of something that is to come in the future. It is often used to suggest that something is likely to happen or to give a subtle hint.

  • For example, “The dark clouds were a foretoken of the storm that was about to hit.”
  • In a suspenseful novel, the author might use a foretoken to create tension and anticipation for what is to come.
  • A person might say, “The sudden drop in temperature is a foretoken of winter approaching.”

22. Foreshadowing

Foreshadowing is a literary technique used to give readers a hint or suggestion of what is to come later in the story. It is often used to create suspense or build anticipation.

  • For instance, “The mention of a mysterious character early in the novel is a foreshadowing of their later appearance.”
  • In a movie, a character’s ominous dream might foreshadow a tragic event that will occur later.
  • A person might say, “The dark and stormy weather is a foreshadowing of the danger that lies ahead.”

23. Premonition

A premonition is a strong feeling or sense that something is going to happen in the future, often with a negative or ominous connotation. It is often described as a gut feeling or a sense of foreboding.

  • For example, “I had a premonition that something bad was going to happen, and it turned out to be true.”
  • In a horror movie, a character might have a premonition of their impending doom.
  • A person might say, “I can’t explain it, but I have a premonition that things are about to change.”

24. Intimate

To intimate something is to hint at or suggest it indirectly. It is often used to imply or foreshadow something without explicitly stating it.

  • For instance, “The author used symbolism to intimate the deeper meaning of the story.”
  • In a conversation, someone might say, “I don’t want to intimate that there’s anything wrong, but…”.
  • A person might use body language to intimate their feelings without saying a word.

25. Imply

To imply something is to suggest or indicate it indirectly, often through hints or clues. It is a way of foreshadowing or giving a subtle suggestion without explicitly stating it.

  • For example, “The detective’s questioning seemed to imply that he suspected the butler.”
  • In a movie, a character’s mysterious behavior might imply that they are hiding something.
  • A person might say, “His comment seemed to imply that he knew more than he was letting on.”

26. Insinuate

To suggest or hint at something without directly stating it. The term “insinuate” is often used to foreshadow events or outcomes.

  • For example, a character might insinuate their involvement in a crime by saying, “I was in the area that night, but I didn’t see anything.”
  • In a suspenseful novel, the author might insinuate a character’s dark past through subtle clues and remarks.
  • A movie might insinuate a plot twist by showing a character acting suspiciously.
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27. Allude to

To make a reference to something without explicitly mentioning it. “Allude to” is a way to foreshadow or hint at future events or ideas.

  • For instance, a character might allude to a secret plan by saying, “I have something up my sleeve.”
  • In a fantasy novel, the author might allude to a character’s hidden powers by describing their mysterious aura.
  • A TV show might allude to a character’s fate by showing them in a dangerous situation.

28. Prolepsis

A rhetorical device used in literature to hint at future events or outcomes. Prolepsis is a form of foreshadowing that allows the audience to anticipate what will happen later in the story.

  • For example, a writer might use prolepsis by saying, “Little did they know, their lives were about to change forever.”
  • In a mystery novel, prolepsis might be used to hint at the identity of the killer before the big reveal.
  • A filmmaker might use prolepsis by showing a glimpse of a climactic scene before cutting back to the present.

29. Hint

To give a small suggestion or indication of something to come. “Hint” is a simple yet effective way to foreshadow events or outcomes.

  • For instance, a character might drop a hint about a surprise party by saying, “I hope you like cake.”
  • In a thriller movie, a hint might be given through a cryptic message or symbol.
  • A writer might include subtle hints throughout a story to build suspense and keep readers guessing.

30. Proclaim

To announce or declare something openly and confidently. While not typically associated with foreshadowing, “proclaim” can be used to indirectly hint at future events or outcomes.

  • For example, a character might proclaim their intention to seek revenge, foreshadowing a later confrontation.
  • In a political drama, a leader might proclaim their plans for change, hinting at upcoming plot twists.
  • A TV show might end an episode with a character proclaiming their love for someone, foreshadowing a romantic storyline.

31. Prescient

“The author’s prescient prediction of the future in their novel impressed readers.”

  • “His prescient remarks during the meeting turned out to be accurate.”
  • “The movie’s plot twist was so prescient that it left the audience in awe.”

32. Vaticinate

“The ancient oracle was known for vaticinating the fate of individuals.”

  • “Some people claim to have the ability to vaticinate through dreams.”
  • “The psychic vaticinated that a major disaster would occur in the near future.”

33. Warn

“The weather forecast warned of heavy rain and thunderstorms.”

  • “She warned her friend about the suspicious behavior of their new neighbor.”
  • “The doctor warned the patient about the potential side effects of the medication.”

34. Foresee

“The economist could foresee the upcoming recession based on the current market trends.”

  • “The detective’s keen observation skills allowed him to foresee the criminal’s next move.”
  • “She could foresee the consequences of her actions and decided to change her behavior.”

35. Prognostication

“The astrologer’s prognostication about the client’s love life turned out to be accurate.”

  • “Political pundits often make prognostications about election outcomes.”
  • “The fortune teller’s prognostication of a life-changing event left the person intrigued and curious.”

36. Prophetic

This term refers to something that predicts or foretells future events or outcomes. It is often used to describe a person or statement that accurately predicts the future.

  • For example, “His dreams often turned out to be prophetic, warning him of upcoming dangers.”
  • In a discussion about a book, someone might say, “The author’s use of symbolism was incredibly prophetic, hinting at the book’s ending.”
  • A movie reviewer might describe a film as “prophetic” if it accurately portrays future societal changes.