I know that a timeline of past and possibly present events are simply referred to as a "Timeline of [insert event here]", however, I am struggling to find a word or phrase that encompasses the future as well.

Some possible candidates that come to mind are:

  • Scope
  • Purview of events
  • Span

But I feel that none of these are really that clear or accurate.

  • 4
    Why exactly is "timeline" nixed? futuretimeline.net and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_far_future use it. Perhaps you could specify the context?
    – Conrado
    Jul 22, 2020 at 20:53
  • 1
    Mmmm, I suppose this could just be solved by adding context. But then I always thought that it would be weird to include possible future events since their not on the 'line' yet. Jul 22, 2020 at 20:59
  • @Elliot That's a good term, especially for events you have a high degree of certainty of occurring. Jul 22, 2020 at 21:49
  • 3
    I disagree with the premise that timeline cannot refer to future events. In fact, it easily can and does. Jul 23, 2020 at 2:26
  • A quick look in CED would have clearly shown that 'timeline' is fine for planned events. You'd have to hedge this term considerably if you're going to add say the 2426 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. Jul 23, 2020 at 10:28

7 Answers 7


Timeline is actually the right word here!

From the Cambridge Dictionary definition we can see that there are several usages of the word:


  • a line that shows the time and the order in which events have happened

  • a plan that shows how long something will take or when things will happen

As you can see, this word can encompass both the past and future. It is perfectly valid to put past and future events onto a single timeline - this is often done using demarcation to clearly show what is the 'future' at the time of writing.

Powerpoint showing a timeline layout


One might refer to Eventualities of the subject. That is, the results or consequences of the events. These would be in the past as well as the future.


Well, in Sanskrit... India, there's large time cycles called Yugas:


There's a lot of good Sanskrit words... Kala means time. Vedanta refers to speculations about the future, based on what we know now and have learned in the past...

The words epoch, age and era come to mind...

But, I guess I'm not entirely clear on what word it is you're seeking.

There's Eschatology... but, I think that's primarily in regard to the future and even an afterlife... chronology... Lots of good philosophical and theological terms, like prophecy, or end times... lol, God's Plan, perhaps.

I dunno, I like the term temporal coordinate, temporal trajectory... how about temporality?


I would say chronology

"a relating of events usually in the order in which they happened"(Merriam Webster's Dictionary ).

  • 3
    Note that this definition does not license possible future events. 'Timeline' itself actually has more going for it. Jul 23, 2020 at 10:24

Without context it is difficult to say but I think that :

... the sequence of events ...

covers past, present and future occurrences.

(Countable noun) A sequence of events or things is a number of events or things that come one after another in a particular order.

Collins Dictionary

“With a certain sequence of events in next few weeks,” Rosen says, “we could be back to square one.”

Covid-19 Trials - Science Mag

  • Interesting article about clinical trials.
    – Lesley
    Jul 28, 2020 at 16:27

Such a line is a World Line, a word rooted in the physics of spacetime.

Example usage (from a recent article in J. Creative Writing Studies): To be coherent, a story must remain fully within a World Line. A World Line’s boundaries are created by the character’s capabilities, intentions, and history. If the character acts contrary to those, it feels disingenuous because in real life we are incapable of escaping our own World Line.

  • 3
    It would improve the answer if you included some supporting examples of usage. Jul 23, 2020 at 5:24

A timeline is just that, a time line. It is a vosible diagram that shows what events have taken place and the time frame the events happened. Some timelines are more accurate than others.

A timeline can be accurate on dates and what events have taken place on that date, However, the time is not so accurate. Time, most generally, is estimated especially if an event of some kind,for example,a show,given a time to start but does not start at the time stated. The show that is scheduled to start at 7 pm may start at 7:15 or 7:30. Timeline will state that the movie started at 7 pm. After the movie, drinks and snacks will be served. As you can see the timeline stated the present, the show, and the future such as the time for drinks and snacks.

Timeline for a more accurate explanation to determine an outcome does not foresee the future. We can put down what and when something happened but can't state what will happen in the future. The future, I think are goals that need to be met at a certain day and time. As we all know that time is never specific. Time is estimated and nothing ever starts on time. Timeline for the future is like an assumption of what will happen and what time?

The past tells us what has happened, the present tells us what to expect to happen, the future is what one plans to do at a particular time. The future is open for change and more than likely will be altered by something that happens in the present. Timelines reminds us of the time of events and the places if you wanted to know of another event and time. That helps narrow down when and where of something you want to remember. That is my explanation.

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