AskDefine | Define foreword

Dictionary Definition

foreword n : a short introductory essay preceding the text of a book [syn: preface, prolusion]

User Contributed Dictionary



From fore- + word.



  1. An introductory section preceding the main text of a book or other document; a preface or introduction.


an introductory section

Extensive Definition

A foreword is a short (or long) piece of writing often found at the beginning of a book or other piece of literature, before the introduction, and written by someone other than the author of the book. A preface, by contrast, is written by the author of the book, although sometimes the two terms are used interchangeably. A preface generally covers the story of how the book came into being, or how the idea for the book was developed; this is often followed by thanks and acknowledgments to people who were helpful to the author during the time of writing. Often, a foreword will tell of some interaction between the writer of the foreword and the story or the writer of the story. A foreword to later editions of a work often explains in what respects that edition differs from previous ones.
If there is an author's preface as well, it follows the foreword. Unlike a preface, a foreword is always signed. Information essential to the main text is generally placed in a set of explanatory notes, or perhaps in an "Introduction" that may be paginated with Arabic numerals, rather than in the foreword. The word foreword was first used around the mid-1800s (originally used as a term in philology). It was possibly a translation of the German "Vorwort".

See also

foreword in Swedish: Förord

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

acknowledgments, anteriority, avant-propos, back, back matter, bastard title, bibliography, bold front, brave face, brave front, breakthrough, catch line, catchword, colophon, contents, contents page, copyright page, dedication, display, endleaf, endpaper, endsheet, errata, exordium, facade, face, facet, facia, flyleaf, folio, fore, fore edge, forefront, foreground, forehand, foreland, forepart, forequarter, foreside, front, front elevation, front man, front matter, front page, front view, frontage, frontal, frontier, frontispiece, half-title page, head, heading, imprint, index, innovation, inscription, introduction, lap, leaf, leap, makeup, obverse, overture, page, postulate, preamble, preface, prefix, prefixture, preliminaries, preliminary, prelude, premise, presupposition, priority, proem, prolegomena, prolegomenon, prolepsis, prologue, proscenium, protasis, recto, reverso, running title, signature, subtitle, table of contents, tail, text, title, title page, trim size, type page, verse, verso, voluntary, window dressing
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