\ 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 ˈma-dəks (audio)\ 1873–1939 originally Ford Hermann Hueffer \ ˈhü-​fər How to pronounce ˈhü-fər (audio) ; ˈhwe-​fər , ˈwe-​\ 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

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Other Words from ford


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

Synonyms for ford

Synonyms: Noun

shallow(s), shoal

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Examples of ford in a Sentence


didn't attempt getting the horses across the stream until we had reached the ford

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Fords are popular models for people looking to buy in Atlanta; usually, F-150 pick-ups, Flex SUVs and Fusion and Focus sedans are frequent searches., "Cleveland named in the top 10 U.S. cities to buy a used car for cheap: See the list," 9 Aug. 2017 Newer Fords fit more tire; square Chevy fenders are less generous. Morgan Kane, Popular Mechanics, "How to Make Your Own Monster Truck," 2 Aug. 2017 Red Hen Press: An Evening of Poetry and Performance With Brendan Constantine and t’ai freedom ford. Matt Cooper,, "The week ahead in L.A. theater, July 9-16: 'King of the Yees' and more," 9 July 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

With the conventional powertrain, the new Evoque handles everything from freeway cruising and mountain grades to fording hub-deep creeks without fuss. Houston Chronicle, "Range Rover Evoque gets added finesse, mild-hybrid versions," 14 June 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,, "Review: ‘Funan’ marries stunning animation with genocidal terror," 13 June 2019 Migrants entering Colombia illegally have to ford the Tachira River separating the two countries. Juan Forero |, WSJ, "Colombia Struggles to Control Border Overrun by Desperate Venezuelans," 20 Sep. 2018 Its power plant and suspension would rather avoid fording streams or two-stepping over rocks. John Scott Lewinski, Ars Technica, "Toyota goes beyond boring and beige with the 2018 C-HR crossover," 4 Sep. 2018 Witnesses said the militants, all of whom were masked and wearing army uniforms, sneaked into the village after Tuesday evening prayers, apparently by fording a nearby river. Margaret Coker And Falih Hassan, New York Times, "These Iraqi Farmers Said No to ISIS. When Night Came They Paid the Price.," 2 May 2018 But after fording fast rivers, trekking through forest and braving mountain roads, the journalist found him. The Economist, "Obituary: Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo, the first cardinal from Central America," 23 June 2018 The day before was a much more extreme test, requiring us to leave the road behind altogether, including negotiating some extremely steep grades plus ford a stream. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Forget about that Tesla—the Jaguar I-Pace is the most compelling EV yet," 14 June 2018 Will the misdirected Håkan ford the Mississippi and pass Huck Finn lighting out the other way? Lawrence Downes, New York Times, "A Debut Novel. A Tiny Press. A Pulitzer Finalist.," 2 May 2018

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for ford

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

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More Definitions for ford



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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on ford

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ford

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ford

Spanish Central: Translation of ford

Nglish: Translation of ford for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ford for Arabic Speakers

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