I used to think 'futurist' is the word to describe such a person, but then I realized, 'futurists' are highly experienced people who are usually given the title 'futurist', after they prove themselves in the real world. But, how about a person who wonders about the future, say, as a hobby. Is there a word to describe such a person. Anything relatable is welcome. Thank you.

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    Welcome to EL&U. I think you have an exaggerated view of what is required to call oneself a futurist, albeit a view that is propagated by futurists. Commented May 27, 2018 at 20:35
  • I know this is not what you are after, but in the name of vocabulary pleasures there is the word prognosticator en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/prognosticator A person who foretells or prophesies a future event. ‘there are many prognosticators predicting the worst’
    – Tom22
    Commented May 27, 2018 at 21:41
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    Dreamer? Predictor? There are a whole bunch of synonyms for people who "see" the future, but it's not at all clear if that's what you're talking about. Commented May 28, 2018 at 4:31
  • A tarot card reader, an astrologist, or (sorry in advance), a bullshit artist. :)
    – Lambie
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 21:44

3 Answers 3


The OED has entries for the terms futurology, and futurologist, also futurist. (see below).

Wikipedia regards futurologist and futurist as synonymous. However the OED's treatment of the latter indicates other senses for the term futurist as well as its OED sense 2. which corresponds with futurologist. I have reproduced all three OED senses below.

For this reason I would tend to avoid using futurist as it has other meanings. And I would use futurologist. I first came across the word in the early 1970's when I read Alvin Toffler's Future Shock (1970).

OED Futurology

The forecasting of the future on a systematic basis, esp. by the study of present-day trends in human affairs.

1946 A. Huxley Let. 29 Mar. (1969) 542 Thank you for..the interesting enclosure on ‘Teaching the Future’. I think that ‘futurology’ might be a very good thing.

1967 Listener 23 Mar. 397/1 Futurology, the systematic study of trends which enable us to forecast the shape of things to come.

1969 New Scientist 11 Dec. 570/2 Futurology..cannot be turned into a respectable ‘hard’ science merely by getting the economists and the technologists to put some numbers to it.


1967 Listener 23 Mar. 397/2 Here we are with the automation process which, according to well-known futurologists, will lead to enforced leisure for a large part of the population.

1970 Financial Times 13 Apr. 7/1 American futurologist Herman Kahn is wrong in seeing the 21st century as belonging to Japan.


  1. Theol a. One who believes that the Scripture prophecies, esp. those in the Book of Revelation, are still to be fulfilled in the future.

1842 G. S. Faber Provinc. Lett. I. iv. 88 Dr. Todd and Mr. Mac-Causland..are alike staunch Antiprotestant Futurists.

1854 D. S. Desprez Apocal. Fulfilled i. 2 We have Præterists and Futurists—one class of interpreters believing that the Apocalypse was fulfilled in the first three or four centuries of the Christian æra; another class maintaining that, with the exception of the three first chapters, none of it is fulfilled.

1882 F. W. Farrar Early Days Christianity II. 227.

b. attrib. passing into adj.

1878 H. G. Guinness Approaching End of Age Pref. (1880) 5 The futurist school of prophetic interpreters.

1881 Church Times 25 Feb. 121 To give themselves up..to idle futurist speculations.

  1. One who has regard to or studies the future; a believer in human progress.

1846 in J. E. Worcester Universal Dict. Eng. Lang. 1936 G. K. Chesterton Autobiogr. 25 The one thing forbidden to such futurists was Looking Backwards.

1956 A. Toynbee Historian's Approach to Relig. vi. 79 The futurists are revolutionaries who consciously and deliberately set out to break with a disintegrating social past in order to create a new society.

1964 E. M. Forster in Granta 15 Feb. 9/1 Traction Engine: I shall pass often enough in the future. Punt: A Futurist! Better and better.

1971 Observer 10 Jan. 21/7 A man whose name had often been mentioned respectfully by other futurists.

  1. [After Italian futuristo, French futuriste.] An adherent of futurism. Also attrib. or as adj.

1911 W. J. Locke Glory of Clementina Wing xxii. 278 After that they had gone to see the New Futurists.

1914 Star 16 Dec. 6/2 Small bullet-proof shields,..painted in cubist patterns in futurist colours.

1915 W. H. Wright Mod. Painting 272 The famous Futurist statement that ‘a running horse has not four legs, but twenty’.

1916 ‘B. Cable’ Action Front 128 Erratic daubs of bright colours laid on after the most approved Futurist style.

1924 C. Hamilton Prisoners of Hope 129 The walls..were covered with the raw and confused handiwork of the people who called themselves futurists because they had never been taught how to paint.

1958 Times Lit. Suppl. 31 Jan. 58/1 Trotsky writes superbly on the literary ‘fellow-travellers’, Alexander Blok, and the Futurists in particular.

  • Good to know, albeit I am more inclined to know what a person who has a hobby to contemplate about the future can describe himself as. A person with such a hobby can't really describe himself using either of the words 'futurologist' or 'futurist', can he? Commented May 27, 2018 at 21:27
  • How about "science fiction writer" or "SF fan". (Not "sci-fi", please.)
    – tautophile
    Commented May 27, 2018 at 21:57
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    Why would anybody downvote this? This is the technical term for a person who projects the future based on scientific numbers.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 21:43

Forecaster (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/forecast)

forecast (noun) has various synonyms: prediction, prophecy, forewarning, prognostication, augury, divination, prognosis.

Consciously considering the future when taking current actions is a human characteristic and influences many decisions. A good number of people earn their livings forecasting weather, climate, interest rates, technology change, product demand, and so forth. As a hobby you might call the person a futurist, as suggested.


a soothsayer TFD

One who claims to be able to foretell events or predict the future

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