I wrote the following sentence:

Driverless cars have already been tried by forward-thinking countries.

Yet, I am not sure if forward-thinking is the best choice. What other word could be chosen instead of forward-thinking?

  • 1
    Not really a verb but a great phrase is "ahead of its time"
    – Inazuma
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 9:18
  • @Inazuma forward-thinking is a participial adjective here. Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 9:39
  • Define forward-thinking.
    – Drew
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 1:19
  • 'innovative' might work.
    – Mitch
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 13:52
  • countries that focus on the future: future-focused countries.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 28, 2020 at 14:09

5 Answers 5


Anyone of the following should do:

  • I like "visionary."
    – user167084
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 6:03

Consider using progressive, defined by Merriam-Webster as making use of or interested in new ideas, findings, or opportunities and moving forward or onward.

You seem to be using the term ‘forward-thinking’ with an approving sense of ‘not constrained by existing thinking’, and/or ‘constructively pushing ahead’. Progressive is commonly used for this purpose.

Depending on your specific intent in this composition, however, other potentially useful terms exist (all linked definitions here are from Merriam-Webster)...

liberal (suggesting ‘actively interested in possible new ideas and approaches’): not opposed to new ideas or ways of behaving that are not traditional or widely accepted

broad-minded (suggesting ‘open to new and challenging ideas’): willing to accept opinions, beliefs, or behaviors that are unusual or different from your own

radical (suggesting ‘happy to depart from conventional practice’): favoring extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions

modern (suggesting ‘inclined not to rely on tradition’): involving recent techniques, methods, or ideas

ultramodern (suggesting ‘rather determined not to rely on tradition’!): beyond what is ordinary, proper, or moderate : excessively : extremely – ultramodern (This is part of the definition of ‘ultra’.)


You might consider, farsighted

: able to see things that are far away more clearly than things that are near

: able to predict what will or might happen in the future : foresighted (emphasis is mine)

: made or done while thinking about what will happen in the future

e.g. plans made by farsighted city leaders; farsighted conservationists long ago realized that wilderness areas of breathtaking beauty needed to be protected from future development



Forward-thinking countries -

Countries forming the vanguard of innovation. (i.e. the foremost division of an army; the forefront or van (OED))


I would also suggest pioneering which can mean

Being advanced in development


Preceding all others in time

It works well in this exact context.

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