\ ˈfȯrd How to pronounce ford (audio) \

Definition of ford

 (Entry 1 of 7)

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


forded; fording; fords

Definition of ford (Entry 2 of 7)

transitive verb

: to cross (a body of water) by wading


biographical name (1)
\ ˈfȯrd How to pronounce Ford (audio) \

Definition of Ford (Entry 3 of 7)

Ford Mad*ox \ ˈma-​dəks How to pronounce Ford (audio) \ 1873–1939 originally Ford Hermann Hueffer \ ˈhü-​fər How to pronounce Ford (audio) , ˈ(h)we-​fər \ English author


biographical name (2)

Definition of Ford (Entry 4 of 7)

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


biographical name (3)

Definition of Ford (Entry 5 of 7)

Henry 1863–1947 American automobile manufacturer


biographical name (4)

Definition of Ford (Entry 6 of 7)

John 1586–?1639 English dramatist


biographical name (5)

Definition of Ford (Entry 7 of 7)

John 1895–1973 originally John Martin Feeney American film director

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from ford


fordable \ ˈfȯr-​də-​bəl How to pronounce fordable (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for ford

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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: Noun The victim advised a black ford mustang occupied by three black males stopped on the roadway. Houston Chronicle, "Bellaire Police Department weekly report," 12 Aug. 2019 The other car struck head-on, a 2010 ford sedan, was driven by 36-year-old Jennifer Panitch, who suffered minor injuries. Tess Sheets,, "Head-on crash in Seminole kills 2, FHP says," 7 Sep. 2019 Past Baldy Peak, the map shows the route continuing down to little Harrington Lake (with a ford of Harrington Creek). Tom Stienstra,, "Finding solitude on one of California’s prettiest trails," 10 July 2019 Police also found $6,801 in cash and seized a 2013 ford Focus. Felicia Gans,, "13 arrested in Boston drug raids," 3 July 2018 Elmsford adopted its current name around 1870, in recognition of a large elm tree that stood near a ford across the river, used as a landmark by George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Susan Hodara, New York Times, "Elmsford, N.Y.: A Quiet Village Surrounded by Highways and Commerce," 21 Feb. 2018 The motorist, in a blue ford SUV, drove off the residential street and across a shallow ditch toward the front of a house in the 3000 block of Melbourne, according to police. Alyson Ward, Houston Chronicle, "Driver crashes into northeast Houston yard," 21 Jan. 2018 There's another freeway on-ramp pooled in water too deep to ford. Matt Pearce,, "On the road in Texas, where all the roads look like rivers," 29 Aug. 2017 Fords with the optional diesel still beat the Ram’s tow rating with a gooseneck or conventional hitch, with the Super Duty’s 32,500- and 21,000-pound tow figures just besting the Ram’s 31,210- and 20,000-pound ratings. Greg Fink, Car and Driver, "More Tug-Worthy 2018 Ram 3500HD Boasts 930 LB-FT of Torque," 11 Aug. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Turned back at the bridge in at the border town of Ciudad Hidalgo, some the migrants forded the river and were met with violence by National Guard troops. Dudley Althaus,, "Southern Mexico has its own “Trump Wall”," 22 Feb. 2020 Oh, and just in case you get caught fording a deep river, these lights are waterproof to a depth of almost 10 feet. Richard Mann, Field & Stream, "12 Badass Overland Accessories for Your Hunting Truck," 25 Nov. 2019 There's also a clever self-leveling hydraulic suspension setup with a ground clearance of 15 inches (38cm) and 10 inches (25cm) of wheel travel, and both B1 and B2 can ford water at depths of up to 36 inches (91cm). Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Bollinger Motors reveals the price of its hand-built EVs—$125,000," 24 Oct. 2019 Several cameras discreetly positioned around the gallery project a continuous loop of video scenes from nature onto the fabric bolts: A herd of wildebeest ford a brown river. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "Is climate change art? 5 must-see pieces at the new AVAM exhibit," 14 Oct. 2019 To viewers accustomed to the speed and dynamism of N.F.L. action, the game was distinguished by sludginess, the sense that both teams, on both sides of the ball, were moving at half speed, as if fording a muddy river. Jody Rosen, The New Yorker, "The Miami Dolphins and the Art of Losing to “Win”," 19 Oct. 2019 Early in the evacuation, as the parents grapple with things like having to ford a river that is mined with bombs, Sovanh runs off and gets lost in the endless throngs. Kenneth Turan,, "‘Funan’ movie review: A family seeks to reunite amid terror of the Khmer Rouge in beautifully animated film," 27 June 2019 The action is already evident on Mount Gorongosa, where families ford rivers carrying as many seedlings as possible, including balancing some on their heads. Washington Post, "Coffee growers help reforest Mozambique’s Mount Gorongosa," 25 Aug. 2019 But its approach and departure angles do call for care when traversing ruts, fording streams and cresting hills. Larry Printz, Dallas News, "The 2020 Subaru Outback is a family hauling staple, even after six generations," 10 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ford.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ford


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


1614, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ford


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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ford

Time Traveler for ford

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for ford

Cite this Entry

“Ford.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ford


How to pronounce Ford (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ford

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a shallow part of a river, stream, etc., that may be crossed by walking or driving across it



English Language Learners Definition of ford (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cross (an area of water) by walking or riding across a shallow part


\ ˈfȯrd How to pronounce ford (audio) \

Kids Definition of ford

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


forded; fording

Kids Definition of ford (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cross by wading We had to ford a stream.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on ford

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ford

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ford

Spanish Central: Translation of ford

Nglish: Translation of ford for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ford for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ford

What made you want to look up ford? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

March 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • field of crocuses
  • Which is a synonym of rectitudinous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!