Meaning of FUTURE in English

I. fu ‧ ture 1 S1 W1 /ˈfjuːtʃə $ -ər/ BrE AmE adjective [only before noun]

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: futur , from Latin futurus 'going to be' ]

1 . likely to happen or exist at a time after the present:

We are now more able to predict future patterns of climate change.

We’ve been able to save this land from development and preserve it for future generations.

the debate over the future development of the European Union

future wife/husband/son-in-law etc (=someone who will be your wife, husband, son-in-law etc)

2 . technical the form of a verb used for talking about things that are going to happen:

the future tense

3 . for future reference something kept for future reference is kept in order to be used or looked at in the future

• • •


▪ later happening or existing at some time in the future after something or someone else:

We will discuss this at a later time.


Later historians have cast doubt on the truth of his story.


They say that they may need to review the case at a later stage.

▪ following happening or coming immediately after something – used about periods of time, or parts of a piece of writing:

He resigned the following year.


The following day he was back to normal.


Gandhi 's attitude to religion is dealt with in the following chapter.

▪ future likely to happen or exist at some time in the future:

What influence will this have on future developments?

▪ subsequent formal happening or coming at some time after something else:

a subsequent decision by the Supreme Court


Subsequent events proved him wrong.


In subsequent years, the number of patients became smaller and smaller.

▪ succeeding coming after someone or something else - used about a series of groups of people, periods of time, or parts of a book:

His work was admired by succeeding generations.


Over the succeeding months, the stitches were carefully removed.


These problems are further discussed in the succeeding chapters.

II. future 2 S1 W1 BrE AmE noun

1 . the future

a) the time after the present:

What are your plans for the future?

It may be useful at some time in the future.

b) technical the form of a verb that shows that something will happen or exist at a later time. In the sentence, ‘I will leave tomorrow,’ the verb is in the future.

2 . [countable] what someone or something will do or what will happen to them in the future:

The islands should have the right to decide their own future.

future of

Ferguson is optimistic about the future of the business.

a leader who will shape the organization’s future

3 . in future British English from now:

In future, staff must wear identity badges at all times.

4 . have a/no future to have a chance or no chance of being successful or continuing:

Does this school have a future?

5 . there’s a/no future in something used to say that something is likely or not likely to be successful:

He felt there was no future in farming.

6 . futures [plural] technical goods, money, land etc that will be supplied or exchanged in the future at a time and price that has already been agreed

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COLLOCATIONS (for Meanings 1 & 2)

■ verbs

▪ predict the future (=say what will happen in the future)

No-one can predict the future of boxing.

▪ foretell the future (=say or show what will happen in the future)

Some people think that dreams can foretell the future.

▪ see/look into the future (=know what will happen in the future)

I wish I could see into the future.

▪ look to the future (=think about or plan for the future)

She could now look to the future with confidence.

▪ plan for the future ( also make plans for the future ) (=think carefully about the future and decide what you are going to do )

As soon as she knew she was pregnant, she started to plan for the future.

▪ face a bleak/grim etc future

Many pensioners face a bleak future.

▪ shape somebody's future

Your boss is the one who writes your evaluations, recommends you for promotions and shapes your future.

▪ sb’s/sth’s future lies in/with something (=it is in a particular thing )

The country’s economic future lies with its skilled workforce.

▪ the future looks good/bright etc

The future looks good for the company.

■ adjectives

▪ great/good

The country has a great future.

▪ bright/promising (=showing signs of being successful)

Her future as a tennis player looks promising.

▪ uncertain (=not clear or decided)

The college's future is now uncertain.

▪ bleak/grim/dark (=without anything to make you feel hopeful)

The theatre is losing money and its future looks bleak.

■ phrases

▪ the immediate future (=very soon)

There will be no major changes in the immediate future.

▪ the near future (=soon)

A new product launch is planned for the near future.

▪ the distant future (=a long time from now)

I don't worry about what might happen in the distant future.

▪ the dim and distant future (=a very long time from now)

He plans to get married in the dim and distant future.

▪ for/in the foreseeable future (=as far into the future as you can possibly know)

The population is expected to keep growing for the foreseeable future.

▪ in the not too distant future (=quite soon)

We’re planning to go there again in the not too distant future.

▪ sb’s hopes/fears/plans for the future

What are your hopes for the future?

▪ sb’s worries/concerns about the future

their worries about the future of the English countryside

▪ what the future holds (=what will happen)

He is worried about what the future holds for the company.

• • •


■ the time after now

▪ the future the time after now:

What will life be like in the future?


The company is hoping to expand in the near future (=soon) .

▪ from now on used when saying that something will always happen in the future, starting from now:

From now on, I’m not letting anyone borrow my car.


The meetings will be held once a month from now on.


From now on, you will have to make your own lunch.


From now on, homeowners will have to get a city permit if they want to build an addition onto their homes.

▪ years/days etc to come for a long time in the future:

In years to come, people will look back on the 20th century as a turning point in history.


Nuclear power stations will still be needed for a long time to come.

▪ in the long/short/medium term use this to talk about what will happen over a period from now until a long, short etc time in the future:

We don’t know what will happen in the long term.


In the short term, things look good.


Aid to these countries is bound to run into billions of dollars in the long term.

▪ on the horizon used when talking about what is likely to happen in the future:

There are some big changes on the horizon.

■ what will happen to somebody/something

▪ sb’s/sth’s future what will happen to someone or something:

He knew that his future was in films.


Shareholders will meet to decide the company’s future.

▪ fate someone or something’s future – used especially when you are worried that something bad could happen:

The fate of the hostages remains uncertain.


The show’s fate lies in the hands of TV bosses.

▪ destiny what will happen to someone in their life, especially something important:

Sartre believed that everyone is in charge of their own destiny.


He thinks that it is his destiny to lead the country.

▪ the outlook what will happen, especially concerning business, the economy, or the weather:

The economic outlook looks good.


Here is the weather outlook for tomorrow.

▪ prospect the idea or possibility that something will happen:

the awful prospect of another terrorist attack


Prospects for a peace settlement don’t look too good.

▪ fortune what will happen to a person, organization etc in the future – used especially when talking about whether or not they will be successful:

Fans are hoping for a change in the club’s fortunes.


Two years ago, my financial fortunes took a turn for the better (=they improved) .


In 1680 he decided that his fortune lay in the theatre.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.