forerunner (n.) Look up forerunner at
c.1300, from fore + runner. Middle English rendition of Latin praecursor, in reference to John the Baptist as the forerunner of Christ. The Old English word was foreboda.
foresee (v.) Look up foresee at
Old English foreseon "have a premonition," from fore- "before" + seon "to see, see ahead" (see see (v.)). Related: Foresaw; foreseeing; foreseen.
foreseeable (adj.) Look up foreseeable at
1804, from foresee + -able. Related: Foreseeably.
foreshadow (v.) Look up foreshadow at
1570s, from fore- + shadow (v.); the notion is of a shadow thrown before an advancing material object as an image of something suggestive of what is to come. Related: Foreshadowed; foreshadowing.
foreshorten (v.) Look up foreshorten at
c.1600, from fore- + shorten. Related: Foreshortened; foreshortening.
foresight (n.) Look up foresight at
c.1300, from fore- + sight (n.). Compare German Vorsicht "attention, caution, cautiousness."
foreskin (n.) Look up foreskin at
1530s, from fore- + skin (n.). A loan-translation of Latin prepuce.
forest (n.) Look up forest at
late 13c., "extensive tree-covered district," especially one set aside for royal hunting and under the protection of the king, from Old French forest "forest, wood, woodland" (Modern French forêt), probably ultimately from Late Latin/Medieval Latin forestem silvam "the outside woods," a term from the Capitularies of Charlemagne denoting "the royal forest;" perhaps via Old High German forst, from Latin foris "outside" (see foreign), with a sense of "beyond the park," the park being the main or central fenced woodland.

Another theory traces it through Medieval Latin forestis, originally "forest preserve, game preserve," from Latin forum in legal sense "court, judgment;" in other words "land subject to a ban" [Buck]. Replaced Old English wudu.
forest (v.) Look up forest at
1818 (forested is attested from 1610s), from forest (n.).
forestall (v.) Look up forestall at
late 14c. (implied in forestalling), "to lie in wait for;" also "to intercept goods before they reach public markets and buy them privately" (formerly a crime; mid-14c. in this sense in Anglo-French), from Old English noun foresteall "intervention, hindrance (of justice); an ambush, a waylaying," literally "a standing before (someone)," from fore- "before" + steall "standing position" (see stall (n.1)). Modern sense of "to anticipate and delay" is from 1580s. Related: Forestalled; forestalling.
forester (n.) Look up forester at
late 13c. (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French forestier "forest ranger, forest-dweller" (also, as an adjective, "wild, rough, coarse, unsociable"), from forest (see forest (n.)).
forestry (n.) Look up forestry at
1690s, "privilege of a royal forest," from Old French foresterie, from forest (see forest). Meaning "science of managing forests" is from 1859.
foretaste (n.) Look up foretaste at
early 15c., from fore- + taste (n.). As a verb, from mid-15c.
foretell (v.) Look up foretell at
c.1300, from fore- + tell (v.). Related: Foretold; foretelling.
forethought (n.) Look up forethought at
c.1300, from fore- + thought. Old English had foreðencan "to premeditate, consider."
foretime (n.) Look up foretime at
1530s, from fore- + time (n.).
forever (adv.) Look up forever at
late 14c., for ever; from for + ever. One word from late 17c.
forewarn (v.) Look up forewarn at
early 14c., from fore- + warn. Related: Forewarned; forewarning.
foreword (n.) Look up foreword at
1842, from fore- + word (n.); perhaps a loan-translation of German Vorwort "preface," modeled on Latin praefatio "preface."
forfeit (n.) Look up forfeit at
c.1300, "misdeed," from Old French forfait "crime, punishable offense" (12c.), originally past participle of forfaire "transgress," from for- "outside, beyond" (from Latin foris; see foreign) + faire "to do" (from Latin facere; see factitious). Translating Medieval Latin foris factum. Sense shifted mid-15c. from the crime to the penalty: "something to which the right is lost through a misdeed." As an adjective from late 14c., from Old French forfait.
forfeit (v.) Look up forfeit at
c.1300, "to lose by misconduct;" see forfeit (n.). Related: Forfeited; forfeiting.
forfeiture Look up forfeiture at
mid-14c., from Old French forfaiture "crime, transgression; penalty for committing a crime," from forfait (see forfeit).
forfend (v.) Look up forfend at
also forefend, late 14c., "to protect, prohibit; to avert, prevent," a hybrid from for- + fend, from Latin defendere "to ward off."
forgave Look up forgave at
past tense of forgive (q.v.).
forge (n.) Look up forge at
late 14c., "a smithy," from Old French forge (12c.) "forge, smithy," earlier faverge, from Latin fabrica "workshop," from faber (genitive fabri) "workman in hard materials, smith" (see fabric). As the heating apparatus itself, from late 15c.
forge (v.2) Look up forge at
1610s, "make way, move ahead," of unknown origin, perhaps an alteration of force (v.), but perhaps rather from forge (n.), via notion of steady hammering at something. Originally nautical, in reference to vessels.
forge (v.1) Look up forge at
c.1300, "to make, shape, create," from Old French forgier, from Latin fabricari "to frame, construct, build," from fabrica "workshop" (see forge (n.)). Meaning "to counterfeit" is early 14c. Related: Forged; forging.
forger (n.) Look up forger at
late 14c., "a maker, a smith," agent noun from forge (v.). Meaning "a counterfeiter" is from 1550s. A Middle English word for "a forger" was falsarie (mid-15c.).
forgery (n.) Look up forgery at
1570s, "a thing made fraudulently," from forge (n.) + -ery. Meaning "act of counterfeiting" is 1590s.
forget (v.) Look up forget at
Old English forgietan, from for-, used here with negative force, "away, amiss, opposite" + gietan "to grasp" (see get). To "un-get," hence "to lose" from the mind. A common Germanic construction (compare Old Saxon fargetan, Old Frisian forjeta, Dutch vergeten, Old High German firgezzan, German vergessen "to forget"). The literal sense would be "to lose (one's) grip on," but that is not recorded in any Germanic language. Related: Forgetting; forgot; forgotten.
forget-me-not (n.) Look up forget-me-not at
the flowering plant Myosotis palustris, 1530s, from Old French ne m'oubliez mye; in 15c. the flower was supposed to ensure that those wearing it should never be forgotten by their lovers. Similar loan-translations took the name into other languages, such as German Vergißmeinnicht, Swedish forgätmigej, Hungarian nefelejcs, Czech nezabudka.
forgetful (adj.) Look up forgetful at
late 14c., from forget + -ful. Related: Forgetfully; forgetfulness.
forgettable (adj.) Look up forgettable at
1827, from forget + -able. First attested in a translation from German by Carlyle.
forgivable (adj.) Look up forgivable at
1540s, from forgive + -able.
forgive (v.) Look up forgive at
Old English forgiefan "give, grant, allow; forgive," also "to give up" and "to give in marriage;" from for- "completely" + giefan "give" (see give).

The modern sense of "to give up desire or power to punish" is from use of the compound as a Germanic loan-translation of Latin perdonare (such as Old Saxon fargeban, Dutch vergeven, German vergeben, Gothic fragiban; see pardon (v.)). Related: Forgave; forgiven; forgiving.
forgiveness (n.) Look up forgiveness at
Old English forgiefnes "pardon, forgiveness, indulgence;" see forgive + -ness.
forgiving (adj.) Look up forgiving at
"inclined to forgive," 1680s, from present participle of forgive. Related: Forgivingness.
forgo (v.) Look up forgo at
"to relinquish," Old English forgan "go away, pass over, leave undone," from for- "away" + gan "go" (see go). Related: Forgoing; forgone.
forgotten (adj.) Look up forgotten at
early 15c., past participle adjective from forget.
fork (n.) Look up fork at
Old English forca "forked instrument used by torturers," a Germanic borrowing (cognate with Old Norse forkr) from Latin furca "pitchfork; fork used in cooking," of uncertain origin.

Table forks were not generally used in England until 15c. The word is first attested in this sense in English in a will of 1463, probably from Old North French forque (Old French furche, Modern French fourche), from the Latin word. Of rivers, from 1753; of roads, from 1839.
fork (v.) Look up fork at
"to divide in branches, go separate ways" (early 14c.), from fork (n.). Related: Forked; forking. The slang verb phrase fork up (or out) "give over" is from 1831.
forkful (n.) Look up forkful at
1640s; see fork (n.) + -ful.
forklift (n.) Look up forklift at
also fork-lift (truck), 1946, from fork (n.) + lift (n.).
forlorn (adj.) Look up forlorn at
mid-12c., forloren "disgraced, depraved," past participle of obsolete forlesan "be deprived of, lose, abandon," from Old English forleosan "to lose, abandon, let go; destroy, ruin," from for- "completely" + leosan "to lose" (see lose). In the Mercian hymns, Latin perditionis is glossed by Old English forlorenisse.

Sense of "forsaken, abandoned" is 1530s; that of "wretched, miserable" first recorded 1580s. A common Germanic compound (cognates: Old Saxon farilosan, Old Frisian urliasa, Middle Dutch verliesen, Dutch verliezen, Old High German virliosan, German verlieren, Gothic fraliusan "to lose").

Commonly in forlorn hope (1570s), which is a partial translation of Dutch verloren hoop, in which hoop means "troop, band," literally "heap," and the sense of the whole phrase is of a suicide mission. The phrase is usually used incorrectly in English, and the misuse has colored the sense of forlorn. Related: Forlornly; forlornness.
form (n.) Look up form at
early 13c., from Old French forme "physical form, appearance, pleasing looks; shape, image," from Latin forma "form, contour, figure, shape; appearance, looks' model, pattern, design; sort, kind condition," origin unknown. One theory holds that it is from Greek morphe "form, beauty, outward appearance" (see Morpheus) via Etruscan [Klein]. Sense of "behavior" is first recorded late 14c. Meaning "a document with blanks to be filled in" is from 1855.
form (v.) Look up form at
c.1300, from Old French fourmer, from Latin formare, from forma "form, contour, figure, shape" (see form (n.)). Related: Formed; forming.
formable (adj.) Look up formable at
late 14c., from form (v.) + -able.
formal (adj.) Look up formal at
late 14c., from Old French formel (13c.) and directly from Latin formalis, from forma (see form (n.)). As a noun, c.1600 (plural) "things that are formal;" as a short way to say formal dance, recorded by 1906, U.S. college students.
formaldehyde (n.) Look up formaldehyde at
pungent gas formed by oxidation of methyl alcohol, 1869, a contraction of formic aldehyde; see formic + aldehyde. Discovered in 1863 by German chemist August Wilhelm von Hofmann (1818-1892).
formalism (n.) Look up formalism at
1840, "strict adherence to prescribed forms," from formal + -ism. Attested from 1943 in reference to the Russian literary movement (1916-30). Related: Formalist; formalistic.