English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English forsight, forsyght, forsichte (since 14th c.), a calque from providentia equivalent to fore- +‎ sight. Compare Scots foresicht (foresight), Saterland Frisian Foarsicht (caution), West Frisian foarútsjoch (foresight), Dutch voorzicht (foresight), German Vorsicht (caution; care; attention).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

foresight (countable and uncountable, plural foresights)

  1. The ability to foresee or prepare wisely for the future.
    Having the foresight to prepare an evacuation plan may have saved their lives.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, “Book IV”, in The Faerie Queene. [], part II (books IV–VI), London: [] [Richard Field] for William Ponsonby, →OCLC, stanza 1, page 1:
      The rugged forhead that with graue foreſight / Welds kingdomes cauſes, & affaires of ſtate; []
    • 1822, John Barclay, chapter I, in An Inquiry Into the Opinions, Ancient and Modern, Concerning Life and Organization[1], Edinburgh, London: Bell & Bradfute; Waugh & Innes; G. & W. B. Whittaker, section I, page 2:
      In the dead state all is apparently without motion. No agent within indicates design, intelligence, or foresight: […]
    • 2020 May 20, Industry Insider, “An online boost for freight”, in Rail, page 68:
      The specifiers of the Freightliner network had the foresight to base the rail journey on carrying ISO containers which are 8ft wide and originally 8ft tall (although now increased to a height of 9ft 6ins), with a variety of lengths.
  2. the front sight on a rifle or similar weapon
  3. (surveying) a bearing taken forwards towards a new object

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