Over 200 literary terms, Shmooped to perfection.
Think of foreshadowing as the literary spoiler. It's just a fancy term for when a book gives us hints or suggestions about what's going to happen down the road a page or two (or two hundred). Authors put this trick to use in a number of ways—by describing a similar event, by conspicuously pointing out an object that will rear its ugly head later (think Chekhov's gun), or by using words and imagery that hint at the future. It's all fair game.