Forthcoming is defined by the dictionary as:

  1. being about to appear or to be produced or made available e.g.

    • The forthcoming holidays
    • your forthcoming novel
    • funds are forthcoming
  2. responsive, outgoing e.g.

    • a forthcoming and courteous man
  3. characterized by openness, candidness, and forthrightness, e.g.

    • he was not forthcoming about his memories of medical school

Is there an antonym for "forthcoming"? I tried searching via Google, but I was unable to find an antonym that way.


3 Answers 3


The most common sense of “forthcoming”, as far as I'm aware, is used to describe a person who is willing to divulge information, or open and willing to talk. I would describe the opposite sort of person as “tight‑lipped” or “cagey”.

Another sense of “forthcoming” is used to describe events that are planned for or about to happen in the near future. There's not really a good antonym for that sense of the word, because it contains within it the concept of imminence, and the time of the future. This means the opposite might be something that's a long ways off (but still to come), or the opposite might be something that just happened.
Bygone” refers to events that are long past, so that could also be considered an antonym for this sense.

The other sense of “forthcoming” I know is used to describe necessities which are “available when wanted or needed”. This one's a little tricky as well, because most people would either simply say “not forthcoming” or use the opportunity to indicate the reason for the unavailability of whatever it was. There are also specific words like “frozen” (used to describe assets that have been "prevented from being used for a period of time") or “waylaid” (used to describe a shipment that has been ambushed) which might fit best, depending on the situation.

You can read more here, which seems like a pretty good place to find antonyms in the future.

  • Or for #1 maybe withholding sounds okay as an antonym?
    – dcaswell
    Sep 9, 2013 at 21:26
  • 1
    @user814064 Definitely with a subject (like “withholding information” or “withholding his feelings”), not so definitely without one. I'm aware of using that word by itself to describe someone, but that usage seems like something from the realm of psychotherapy that hasn't fully crossed over into general use (like “enabling”, “projecting”, etc.). For sense #1, there's really no better antonym than “cagey”, in my opinion, because it means exactly the opposite, but it has the disadvantage of being a somewhat uncommon word. Sep 9, 2013 at 21:49

For definition numbers 2 and 3, a good antonym is “reserved”.

As in:

  1. formal or self-restrained in manner and relationship; avoiding familiarity or intimacy with others:
    “a quiet, reserved man.”

Source: dictionary.com


Examples 1a and 1b use "forthcoming" to mean "in the near future".
An antonym for this meaning is "recent", which means "in the recent past".

Example 1c uses "forthcoming" to mean "will be coming soon".
An antonym for this meaning is "on hold", which means "will not be coming, unless someone changes their mind".

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