1 of 2


: a shallow part of a body of water that may be crossed by wading


2 of 2


forded; fording; fords

transitive verb

: to cross (a body of water) by wading
fordable adjective

Examples of ford in a Sentence

Noun didn't attempt getting the horses across the stream until we had reached the ford
Recent Examples on the Web
And even on sunny days, parts of the town’s main access road, Fire Island Boulevard, flood at high tide, forcing maintenance trucks and emergency vehicles to ford a narrow swamp that was once a road. Liam Stack, New York Times, 11 Aug. 2023 Ram says the half-ton Hellcat can also ford up to 32 inches of water. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, 31 Aug. 2023 Also impressive are the surprising approach and departure angles (85 degrees and 84.4 degrees, respectively), elevated air intakes, sealed electrical components offering the capability of fording up to 28 inches of water (17.8 inches on NorthStars), and optional beadlock wheels ($840 per set). Nicolas Stecher, Robb Report, 21 June 2023 That will return the river to patterns recorded in the pre-Soviet era, when in hot summers some parts of the Dnipro became so shallow it could be forded. Marc Champion,, 6 June 2023 Thousands of migrants forded the Rio Grande into the Brownsville, Tex., area, or arrived elsewhere, including more than 800 miles away on the dusty strip of U.S. land between the riverbanks and the border wall east of downtown El Paso. Nick Miroff, Washington Post, 11 May 2023 Enthusiasts care more about the truck's available off-road equipment, which includes everything from copious skid plates to rock-crawling axle ratios to the ability to ford up to 30 inches of water. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 19 Jan. 2023 Prior to the war, Russia’s intention to advance via this road could be seen by the building of a pontoon bridge to ford a river on the Belarussian side of the border across from Chernobyl. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 3 May 2023 The idea is to slow down an attacker by forcing them to ford the river or position a new bridge. David Axe, Forbes, 3 May 2023 See More

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

Word History



Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old Norse fjǫrthr fjord, Latin portus port, Old English faran to go — more at fare

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


1614, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near ford

Cite this Entry

“Ford.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
ˈfō(ə)rd How to pronounce ford (audio)
: a shallow part of a body of water that may be crossed by wading


2 of 2 verb
: to cross (a body of water) by wading
fordable adjective

Biographical Definition

Ford 1 of 5

biographical name (1)

Ford Mad*ox ˈma-dəks How to pronounce Ford (audio) 1873–1939 originally Ford Hermann Hueffer ˈhü-fər How to pronounce Ford (audio)
English author


2 of 5

biographical name (2)

Gerald R(udolph) 1913–2006 American politician; vice president of the U.S. (1973–74); 38th president of the U.S. (1974–77)


3 of 5

biographical name (3)

Henry 1863–1947 American automobile manufacturer


4 of 5

biographical name (4)

John 1586–?1639 English dramatist


5 of 5

biographical name (5)

John 1895–1973 originally John Martin Feeney American film director

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