In architecture a forecourt is an open area in front of a structure's entrance.

In archaeology, forecourt is the name given to the area in front of certain types of chamber tomb. They were likely the venue of ritual practices connected with the burial and commemoration of the dead in the past societies that built these types of tombs.

In European megalithic architecture, forecourts are curved in plan with the entrance to the tomb at the apex of the open semi-circle enclosure that the forecourt creates. The sides were built up by either large upright stones or walls of smaller stones laid atop one another.

Some also had paved floors and some had blocking stones erected in front of them to seal the tomb such as at West Kennet Long Barrow. Their shape, which suggests an attempt to focus attention on the tomb itself may mean that they were used ceremonially as a kind of open air auditorium during ceremonies. Excavation within some forecourts has recovered animal bone, pottery and evidence of burning suggesting that they served as locations for votive offerings or feasting dedicated to the dead.

In a gas station a forecourt is the area where the pumps are present. It is the area outside the sales room or the convenience store of a gas station when customers park their automobiles for filling fuel. It can either be manned or unmanned.

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  • forecourt — ► NOUN 1) an open area in front of a large building or petrol station. 2) Tennis the part of the court between the service line and the net …   English terms dictionary

  • forecourt — [fôr′kôrt΄] n. 1. a court at the front of a building ☆ 2. Basketball the half of the court which contains the basket toward which the ball is shot in attempting to score 3. Tennis Badminton etc. the part of the court nearest the net …   English World dictionary

  • forecourt — [[t]fɔ͟ː(r)kɔː(r)t[/t]] forecourts N COUNT: oft N of n, n N The forecourt of a large building or petrol station is the open area at the front of it. [mainly BRIT] I locked the bike in the forecourt of the Kirey Hotel... A police patrol car was… …   English dictionary

  • forecourt — UK [ˈfɔː(r)ˌkɔː(r)t] / US [ˈfɔrˌkɔrt] noun [countable] Word forms forecourt : singular forecourt plural forecourts an open area in front of a large building or petrol station …   English dictionary

  • forecourt — noun Forecourt is used after these nouns: ↑garage, ↑station …   Collocations dictionary

  • forecourt — noun Date: 1535 1. an open court in front of a building 2. the area near the net in a court game …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • forecourt — /fawr kawrt , fohr kohrt /, n. 1. Tennis. the part of either half of a tennis court that lies between the net and the line that marks the inbounds limit of a service. Cf. backcourt (def. 1). 2. a courtyard before the entrance to a building or… …   Universalium

  • forecourt — noun a) The area in front of a petrol station where the petrol pumps are situated. b) Any open area in front of a building …   Wiktionary

  • forecourt — fore|court [ˈfo:ko:t US ˈfo:rko:rt] n BrE a large open area in front of a building such as a garage or hotel …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • forecourt — fore|court [ fɔr,kɔrt ] noun count an open area in front of a large building or gas station …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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