future Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “future” in the English Dictionary

"future" in British English

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futurenoun

uk   /ˈfjuː.tʃər/ us   /ˈfjuː.tʃɚ/
  • future noun (TIME TO COME)

the future [S]

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B1 a period of time that is to come: Sometimes I worry about the future. I wonder what the future holds for (= what will happen to) you and me. I'm sure at some point in the future I'll want a baby. We need to plan for the future. Do you plan to leave New York in the distant future or the near future? I can see those two getting married in the not too distant future (= quite soon).
A2 language the form of a verb that you use when talking about something that will happen or exist: In the sentence "He will study" the verb phrase "will study" is in the future.
C2 [C] what will happen to someone or something in the time that is to come: Torn apart by war, its economy virtually destroyed, this country now faces a very uncertain future. She's a very talented young singer, Mike, and I personally think she's got a great future ahead of her! The future isn't looking too rosy for these companies.
B1 [S or U] the chance of continuing success or existence for something: With falling audiences, the future of this theatre is in doubt.
in future mainly UK US usually in the future
B1 used at the beginning or end of a sentence in which there is a decision about a plan of action or a warning: Could you be more careful in future? In future I won't bother asking him out anywhere if he's just going to complain that he's bored! In future I'm going to check every single piece of work that you do!
Grammar

futureadjective [before noun]

uk   /ˈfjuː.tʃər/ us   /ˈfjuː.tʃɚ/
B1 happening or existing in the future: Of course we'll keep you up to date about any future developments. There's an old superstition that young girls going to bed on this night dream of their future husbands.
language The future form of a verb is used when talking about something that will happen or exist: How do you say that in the future tense?
for future reference
used when you tell someone something so that it will be known about and can be used in the future: For future reference, could you use the headed paper for any correspondence that leaves this office?
in order to be used or looked at some time in the future: I filed the documents away for future reference.

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Grammar
(Definition of future from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"future" in American English

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futurenoun [C/U]

us   /ˈfju·tʃər/
  • future noun [C/U] (TIME)

time which is to come, or something that will happen or exist later: [U] What are your plans for the future? [U] We hope to buy a house in the foreseeable future. [C] He faces an uncertain future. [U] I really don’t expect any change in the near future. I’ll be sure to observe the speed limit in the future (= the next time).
  • future noun [C/U] (CONDITION)

the conditions for success: [U] In 1903, Ford realized that the future of automobiles lay in making them faster and cheaper. [C usually sing] Candidates always promise a brighter future for Americans.

futureadjective [not gradable]

us   /ˈfju·tʃər/
grammar having the tense of the verb used to describe actions, events, or states that will happen or exist later: In the sentence, "Who will look after the dog?", the phrase "will look" is in the future tense.
happening or existing later or in the future: She was aware that her writings might speak to future generations of African Americans.
(Definition of future from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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