The Meaning of Future: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of future? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word future, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word future mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the word future is a noun that can either refer to undetermined events that will occur in a time to come, or the condition of a person or thing at a later date. This can also be used in grammar to refer to the future tense, one of many verb tenses which puts verbs in the tense of time to come. One can form related words by adding suffixes to make words like futures (fu-tures). Future is two syllables – fu-ture, and  the pronunciation of future is ˈfjuːtʃə. 

There are many different languages that also use words that mean future. You may notice that some of these translations look and sound similar to the word future. These cognates are often formed when two words of different languages share a common origin, such as Latin or Greek. This list of translations for the word future is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Norwegian: framtid‎ (masc.) (f)
  •  Esperanto: estonteco‎, estonto‎
  •  Latvian: nākotne‎
  •  Kazakh: келешек‎, болашақ‎
  •  Latin: futurus‎
  •  Old English: toweard‎
  •  Belarusian: бу́дучыня‎ (neut.)
  •  Yiddish: צוקונפֿט‎
  •  Hebrew: עתיד‎
  •  Irish: todhchaí‎ (fem.)
  •  Estonian: tulevik‎
  •  Faroese: framtíð‎ (fem.)
  •  Mirandese: feturo‎ (masc.)
  •  Khmer: អនាគត‎ (a’naakʊət)
  •  Lithuanian: ateitis‎ (fem.)
  •  Korean: 미래‎ (mirae) (未來‎), 장래‎
  •  Kannada: ಭವಿಷ್ಯತ್ಕಾಲ‎
  •  Danish: fremtid‎ (common)
  •  Italian: futuro‎, avvenire‎
  •  Norman: futur‎ (masc.)
  •  Lao: ອານາຄົດ‎
  •  Kyrgyz: келечек‎
  •  Macedonian: иднина‎ (fem.)
  •  Telugu: భవిష్యత్తు‎
  •  Swedish: framtid‎ (common)
  •  Roman: budućnost‎ (fem.)
  •  Vietnamese: tương lai‎ (將來‎)
  •  Bulgarian: бъ́деще‎ (neut.)
  •  Uzbek: kelajak‎
  •  Urdu: بهوشیه‎ (bhaviṣya), مستقبل‎ (mustaqbal)
  •  Scottish Gaelic: àm ri teachd‎ (masc.)
  •  Maltese: futur‎
  •  Ido: futuro‎
  •  Tagalog: hinaharap‎, kinabukasan‎
  •  Thai: อนาคต‎ (anaakót)
  •  Upper Sorbian: přichod‎ (masc.)
  •  Afrikaans: toekoms‎
  •  Asturian: futuru‎ (masc.)
  •  Romanian: viitor‎
  •  Mandarin: 未來‎, 未来‎ (wèilái), 將來‎, 将来‎ (jiānglái)
  •  Interlingua: futuro‎
  •  Bashkir: киләсәк‎
  •  Azeri: gələcək‎
  •  Sanskrit: भविष्य‎ (bhaviṣya)
  •  Lower Sorbian: pśichod‎ (masc.)
  •  Catalan: futur‎ (masc.)
  •  Sicilian: futuru‎ (masc.)
  •  Occitan: futur‎ (masc.)
  •  Czech: budoucnost‎ (fem.)
  •  Albanian: e ardhme‎ (fem.)
  •  Greek: μέλλον‎ (neut.)
  •  Dutch: toekomst‎ (fem.)
  •  Bengali: ভবিষ্যৎ‎ (bhôbishyôt)
  •  Spanish: futuro‎ (masc.), porvenir‎ (masc.)
  •  Georgian: მომავალი‎
  •  Central Mazahua: xønru̷‎
  •  German: Zukunft‎ (fem.)
  •  Armenian: ապագա‎
  •  Romansch: avegnir‎ (masc.) (Rumantsch Grischun, Sursilvan, Puter, Vallader), avagnir‎ (masc.) (Sutsilvan), avigneir‎ (masc.) (Surmiran), futur‎ (masc.)
  •  Welsh: dyfodol‎
  •  Russian: бу́дущее‎ (neut.), гряду́щее‎ (neut.) (dated or poetic)
  •  Malay: masa depan‎
  •  Sorani: دواڕۆژ‎, پاشه‌ڕۆژ‎
  •  Finnish: tulevaisuus‎
  •  Cherokee: ᎤᏩᎫᏗᏗᏒ‎ (uwagudidisv)
  •  Persian: آینده‎ (âyande), آتیه‎ (âtiye)
  •  Hungarian: jövő‎
  •  Burmese: အနာဂတ်‎
  •  Polish: przyszłość‎ (fem.)
  •  Turkish: gelecek‎
  •  Galician: futuro‎ (masc.)
  •  Cyrillic: будућност‎ (fem.)
  •  Indonesian: masa depan‎
  •  French: avenir‎ (masc.), futur‎ (masc.)
  •  Gujarati: ભવિષ્યકાળ‎ (bhaviṣyakāḷ)
  •  Breton: amzer-da-zont‎ (fem.), dazont‎ (masc.)
  •  Slovene: prihodnost‎ (fem.), bodočnost‎ (fem.)
  •  Sinhalese: ඉදිරිය‎
  •  Icelandic: framtíð‎ (fem.)
  •  Maori: muri‎, āmua‎, anamata‎
  •  Tamil: எதிர்காலம்‎
  •  Turkmen: geljek‎, ýeneki‎
  •  Tajik: оянда‎
  •  Japanese: 未来‎ (みらい, mirai), 将来‎ (しょうらい, shōrai)
  •  Slovak: budúcnosť‎ (fem.)
  •  Tatar: киләчәк‎
  •  Ukrainian: майбу́тнє‎ (neut.)
  •  Volapük: fütür‎
  •  Hindi: भविष्य‎
  •  Mongolian: ирээдүй‎
  •  Oriya: ଭବିଷ୍ୟତ‎ (bhabiṣẏata)
  •  Portuguese: futuro‎ (masc.)
  •  Arabic: مُسْتَقْبَل‎ (masc.)
  •  Hijazi Arabic: مُسْتَقْبَل‎

What are synonyms and antonyms of future?

There are many different words that can be used in place of the word future. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definition as another word or phrase. Synonyms are useful to know if you are trying to avoid repeating yourself or if you are simply looking to expand your vocabulary! This list of synonyms is provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  ahead
  •  destiny
  •  ensuing
  •  prospect
  •  fated
  •  subsequent
  •  fortune
  •  time ahead
  •  by-and-by
  •  approaching
  •  next
  •  afterlife
  •  in the offing
  •  prospective
  •  future tense
  •  morrow
  •  kismet
  •  outlook
  •  forthcoming
  •  coming
  •  incoming
  •  unborn
  •  posterity
  •  upcoming
  •  expected
  •  afterward
  •  planned
  •  subsequently
  •  forward-looking
  •  destinies
  •  futurity
  •  potential
  •  forward
  •  imminent
  •  time to come
  •  hereafter
  •  ulterior
  •  succeeding
  •  for the future
  •  impending
  •  come
  •  tomorrow
  •  offing
  •  eventual
  •  then
  •  later
  •  following
  •  destined
  •  fate
  •  anticipated

There are also many different words that mean the opposite of the word future. These are called antonyms, which are also a useful English language grammatical device to know if you are trying to expand your vocabulary. This list of antonyms is also provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  latter-day
  •  agone
  •  past
  •  back
  •  retrospective
  •  bypast
  •  foregone
  •  other
  •  quondam
  •  gone
  •  erstwhile
  •  anterior
  •  instant
  •  late
  •  ago
  •  earlier
  •  ancient
  •  immediate
  •  old
  •  days gone by
  •  history
  •  time
  •  early
  •  present
  •  knightly
  •  recent
  •  yore
  •  inst
  •  last
  •  earlier times
  •  bygone
  •  historical
  •  once
  •  aforementioned
  •  one-time
  •  olden
  •  yesteryear
  •  bygone times
  •  chivalric
  •  departed
  •  antecedent
  •  former
  •  any more
  •  previous
  •  as mentioned before
  •  prior
  •  distant
  •  background
  •  historic
  •  existing

What is the origin of the word future?

According to Etymonline, the word future comes from the Old French futur and Latin fūtūrus, the future participle of esse and irregular future active participle of sum. This comes from the Proto-Indo-European roots bhū and bhew.

How can the word future be used in a sentence?

In the near future, commodities that currently have an agreed price could shoot up astronomically – one specific commodity could be water.

The singer didn’t know what sort of obligations the future would hold, so she decided to bond with her newborn while she could.

People made speculative purchases with their financial instrument. The sales of commodities and such an asset in bulk made sense to the commodity holder but took it away from everyone else’s future receipt.

At the time of utterance, there were no future prospects or future employment opportunities at the specified future date. 

The not so distant future of the school depended on the specified date the buyer would close.

The next president believed in the laws of physics and the existence of time ,along with the apparent nature of reality, but viewed the end of time as an absolute future with his occidental view which gives a special relativity to the linear conception of time.

Overall, the word future means what is yet to come. This word is also a tense of verbs and verb formation.


  1. Future definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  2. future: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  3. Future synonyms – 1 077 Words and Phrases for Future | Power Thesaurus 
  4. Future antonyms – 1 546 Opposites of Future | Power Thesaurus future | Origin and meaning of future | Online Etymology Dictionary