for

1 of 5

preposition

fər,
(ˈ)fȯr How to pronounce for (audio)
 Southern also  (ˈ)fär
1
a
used as a function word to indicate purpose
a grant for studying medicine
b
used as a function word to indicate an intended goal
left for home
acted for the best
c
used as a function word to indicate the object or recipient of a perception, desire, or activity
now for a good rest
run for your life
an eye for a bargain
2
a
: as being or constituting
taken for a fool
eggs for breakfast
b
used as a function word to indicate an actual or implied enumeration or selection
for one thing, the price is too high
3
: because of
can't sleep for the heat
4
used as a function word to indicate suitability or fitness
it is not for you to choose
ready for action
5
a
: in place of
go to the store for me
b(1)
: on behalf of : representing
speaks for the court
(2)
: in favor of
all for the plan
6
: in spite of
usually used with all
for all his large size, he moves gracefully
7
: with respect to : concerning
a stickler for detail
heavy for its size
8
a
used as a function word to indicate equivalence in exchange
$10 for a hat
, equality in number or quantity
point for point
, or correspondence or correlation
for every one that works, you'll find five that don't
b
used as a function word to indicate number of attempts
0 for 4
9
used as a function word to indicate duration of time or extent of space
gone for two days
10
: in honor of : after
named for her grandmother

for

2 of 5

conjunction

: for the reason that : on this ground : because

for

3 of 5

abbreviation (1)

1
foreign
2
forestry

FOR

4 of 5

abbreviation (2)

free on rail

for-

5 of 5

prefix

1
: so as to involve prohibition, exclusion, omission, failure, neglect, or refusal
forbid
2
: destructively or detrimentally
fordo
3
: completely : excessively : to exhaustion : to pieces
forspent

Examples of for in a Sentence

Conjunction the bill should be listed as paid, for I mailed it in on time
Recent Examples on the Web
Preposition
The question box includes a space for your name, but this is optional. Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, 16 Feb. 2024 That was their way of creating language for the deaf community within their province. Kr Liu and Rachel Chang, Travel + Leisure, 13 Feb. 2024 The department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment. Abigail Adams, Peoplemag, 13 Feb. 2024 Some of the original growers who were there for Peggy's debut are helping spread the love for this plant. Valerie Fraser Luesse, Southern Living, 13 Feb. 2024 On that occasion, the Official Charts Company notes, the Rolling Stones’ reissue of Goats Head Soup scraped through by just 800 chart units for an historic No. 1. Lars Brandle, Billboard, 13 Feb. 2024 The same goes for Rahim’s bad guy crawling the walls in an all-black Spidey suit, which doesn’t really jibe with any sort of cinematic-universe timeline to be honest, but why get hung up on details? David Fear, Rolling Stone, 13 Feb. 2024 Johnson initially seems like a fine match for the role. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Feb. 2024 Whether your taste runs toward fun and flirty romantic comedies, teeth-rattling suspense novels that will keep you up past your bedtime or historical fiction that sneaks some education in with the entertainment, options abound for book lovers. Lizz Schumer, Peoplemag, 1 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'for.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Preposition and Conjunction

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Latin per through, prae before, pro before, for, ahead, Greek pro, Sanskrit pra before, in front, Old English faran to go — more at fare

Prefix

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German far- for-, Old English for

First Known Use

Preposition

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Conjunction

12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of for was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near for

Cite this Entry

“For.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/for. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

for

1 of 2 preposition
fər How to pronounce for (audio)
(ˈ)fȯ(ə)r
1
used to indicate a purpose
money for lunch
, an intended goal
left for work
, or an object of one's desire
now for a good rest
2
: as being
do you take me for a fool
eggs for breakfast
3
: because of
cried for joy
4
a
: in support of
fighting for their country
b
used to indicate suitability or fitness
it's not for me to say
medicine for an illness
c
: so as to bring about a certain state
shouted the news for all to hear
5
a
: in place of
go to the store for me
b
: as the equal or equivalent of in an exchange or loan
paid $10 for a hat
6
: in spite of
unconvinced for all the clever arguments
7
: with respect to : concerning
had an eye for news
8
used to indicate equality or proportion
point for point
tall for your age
9
used to indicate length of time or extent of space
waited for several hours
10
: after entry 2 sense 3a
named for my grandmother

for

2 of 2 conjunction
: for the reason that : on this ground : because
they were certainly there, for I saw them

Legal Definition

for

preposition
1
: because of
a statute void for vagueness
2
: on behalf of : as the representative of
attorney general's office for petitioner

More from Merriam-Webster on for

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