What does the idiom "come to the fore" mean?

Idioms are generally defined as groups of words that form a meaningful whole when they come together, even though the words in them do not make sense on their own. They have produced many idioms according to their own cultural characteristics in communities using the English language. What does come to the fore mean? In what situations is come to the fore used?

Meaning of "come to the fore"


The phrase "come to the fore" is used to describe a person or idea that is becoming prominent or is gaining attention for some reason. In other words, it is used to indicate that something or someone is becoming increasingly important and noticeable.


The phrase "come to the fore" is rooted in the Old English term "fore," which means "in the front" or "in the presence of." As the Oxford English Dictionary notes, the phrase "come to the fore" has been used since the 1700s and its first known usage was in 1704 in a book called “The History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England.”


The phrase "come to the fore" is typically used in a figurative sense, meaning that something or someone is becoming more pronounced or visible. It can be used to describe a change in circumstances, such as when a new leader or policy arises and becomes the focus of attention. It can also be used to describe a person or group who emerges from obscurity and suddenly gains public attention.

Example Sentences

  • After years of political stagnation, a new generation of leaders has come to the fore and is calling for radical change.
  • The singer's popular new single has finally brought her to the fore.
  • The country's military might has come to the fore in recent years, transforming it into a superpower.

The meanings of the words in the "come to the fore" idiom

The Global Spread of English Idioms

As English has become a global language, its idioms have spread far beyond the borders of the UK and USA. For instance, the idiom "beat around the bush" has equivalents in many other languages, such as "tourner autour du pot" in French and "dar vueltas al asunto" in Spanish. Meanwhile, other idioms have been adapted for local contexts, such as the Russian idiom "?? ???? ???????" (ne svoya rubashka), which translates to "not one's own shirt," meaning to be in an uncomfortable or unfamiliar situation.


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