for·​ward | \ ˈfȯr-wərd How to pronounce forward (audio) also ˈfō- or ˈfȯ-, Southern also ˈfär-\

Definition of forward

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : near, being at, or belonging to the forepart the forward section of the main deck
b : situated in advance Baggage is carried in the forward cars of the train.
2a : strongly inclined : ready always forward to criticize his neighbors
b : lacking modesty or reserve : brash Poorly disciplined children are often distressingly forward.
3 : notably advanced or developed : precocious The child is very forward at walking.
4 : moving, tending, or leading toward a position in front checked the forward movement of the dog also : moving toward an opponent's goal
5a : advocating an advanced policy in the direction of what is considered progress a firm forward policy
b : extreme, radical on the forward fringe of conservatism
6 : of, relating to, or getting ready for the future forward buying of produce



Definition of forward (Entry 2 of 4)

: to or toward what is ahead or in front from that time forward moved slowly forward


forwarded; forwarding; forwards

Definition of forward (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to help onward : promote forwarded his friend's career
2a : to send forward : transmit will forward the goods on receipt of your check
b : to send or ship onward from an intermediate post or station in transit forward mail



Definition of forward (Entry 4 of 4)

: a player who plays at the front the team's formation near the opponent's goal a forward in hockey

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Other Words from forward


forwardly adverb
forwardness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for forward

Synonyms: Adjective

bold, familiar, free, immodest, overfamiliar, presuming, presumptuous

Synonyms: Adverb

ahead, along, forth, forwards, on, onward (also onwards)

Synonyms: Verb

advance, cultivate, encourage, foster, further, incubate, nourish, nurse, nurture, promote

Antonyms: Adjective

modest, unassuming

Antonyms: Verb

discourage, frustrate, hinder, inhibit

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Choose the Right Synonym for forward


advance, promote, forward, further mean to help (someone or something) to move ahead. advance stresses effective assisting in hastening a process or bringing about a desired end. advance the cause of peace promote suggests an encouraging or fostering and may denote an increase in status or rank. a campaign to promote better health forward implies an impetus forcing something ahead. a wage increase would forward productivity further suggests a removing of obstacles in the way of a desired advance. used the marriage to further his career

Examples of forward in a Sentence


the forward deck of a boat the forward movement of history a very forward young woman


Her long hair fell forward as she bent to tie her shoes. He pushed the throttle forward. She took a small step forward. The narrative moves backward and forward in time. The technology has taken a big step forward.


Your letter will be forwarded to the appropriate department. Please forward my mail to my new address.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The politician was dressed a bright fuchsia suit, clearly a fashion-forward choice for someone working in the government. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Proves Pantsuits Don't Have to Be Boring," 4 Apr. 2019 As a consequence, prosecco is generally younger, with a lighter, more fruit-forward flavor profile. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Prosecco Isn't the Champagne of Italy, Franciacorta Is," 15 Mar. 2019 Low-speed forward collision warning is standard with all trims. Dan Neil, WSJ, "The Fun New Corolla Hatchback Puts the Toy in Toyota," 3 Jan. 2019 Using similar sensors, most manufacturers have agreed to make forward collision warnings standard in the coming decade as part of a precedent-setting industry-government consortium. NBC News, "As the debate over self-driving heats up, automakers load up on driver safety," 31 Mar. 2018 Though some now-common driver aids such as forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control aren't available on any Wranglers, this is more of a 21st century vehicle than previous iterations. Charles Fleming,, "2018 Jeep Wrangler is a rough rider, on and off the pavement," 2 Mar. 2018 Recent events can help Mr. Trump sustain his forward progress, too. Karl Rove, WSJ, "Make Trump Popular Again," 13 Feb. 2019 The not-so-fashion-forward footwear is especially popular among kids, gardeners, and beachgoers alike, and now, even your pet can get in on the controversial trend. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "This Croc-Shaped Pet Bed Is One Shoe You Won't Mind Your Dog Having," 31 Dec. 2018 Calvin Klein Calvin Klein Simons’s departure from Calvin Klein represents a constant tension within the fashion industry: wanting to offer fashion-forward merchandise while also selling to a large customer base. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "The Calvin Klein brand hired big-name fashion designer Raf Simons to build relevancy. Now he’s out.," 27 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Many of the representatives responded that, while the fact that more people are coming forward to access services is great, funding is not keeping pace. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Prince Harry Makes a Strong Statement About How Addictive Social Media Can Be," 3 Apr. 2019 Culture Lucy Flores once encouraged me to come forward after a man acted inappropriately toward me. Glamour, "What Lucy Flores Can Teach Us About How We Value Women’s Feelings," 3 Apr. 2019 This series on Lifetime may have finally changed that overlooked hypocrisy, as scores of women—the vast majority women of color—came forward with their harrowing, heartbreaking allegations of abuse. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "The Best Documentaries of 2019 That Are Already Changing Everything," 20 Mar. 2019 Women who have come forward to say that singer R. Kelly abused them have faced a similar kind of erasure. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained," 22 Feb. 2019 After the first installment of the new series wraps up, fans can look forward to a fresh round of over-the-top performances, mysterious clues, and crazy costumes. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'The Masked Singer' Season 2: Everything We Know So Far," 9 Feb. 2019 Some people love early morning workouts and look forward to starting each day with exercise. SELF, "7 Tips for Anyone Who Wants to Start Working Out but Doesn't Know Where to Begin," 10 Jan. 2019 The headline features of a GND sound bold and forward-looking and people generally react well to them. David Roberts, Vox, "The Green New Deal, explained," 21 Dec. 2018 Dumbbell thruster Skater hop Lateral to forward raise Rest 1 minute. Amy Marturana, SELF, "25-Minute Total-Body Dumbbell Workout," 8 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In recent months, both Amazon and Google have disallowed a practice called domain-fronting, which allowed apps like Wickr to forward their traffic through the larger network as a way of evading censorship. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Wickr has a new plan for dodging internet blocks," 23 Aug. 2018 Troopers said the report would be forwarded to the Division of Juvenile Justice in Bethel. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "Western Alaska teen injured in propane huffing incident, troopers say," 29 May 2018 The commission also expects the company to forward any reports of contact by Steve Wynn with company officers or directors. Mark Arsenault,, "Wynn Resorts has severed connection to Steve Wynn, state confirms," 7 May 2018 The Eugene City Council currently is considering a request to forward a proposal to the Eugene Historic Review Board to declare the east grandstand a city landmark. Ken Goe,, "Eugene ready and willing as USA Track & Field reopens bidding for 2020 Olympic Trials," 1 May 2018 In return, the T-birds received left wing Sean Richards, the rights to forward Brendan Williamson and three draft picks. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "Championship hydroplane builder Ed Karelsen, 86, dies Saturday in Edmonds," 1 Jan. 2019 Last Wednesday, after meeting with Democrats on the committee, Mrs. Feinstein decided to forward the letter to the FBI in hopes of prompting an investigation. Siobhan Hughes, WSJ, "Feinstein Plays a Key Role in Accusation Against Kavanaugh," 18 Sep. 2018 If the Oscars want to come out of the dark ages, the Academy will forward her next call. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Why Is Ellen DeGeneres Trying to Rehab Kevin Hart as Oscars Host?," 4 Jan. 2019 The city forwards the forms to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which enforces the Endangered Species Act. John Tedesco, San Antonio Express-News, "City halts construction project over endangered species concerns," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Mikko Rantanen is a 22-year-old forward from Finland for the Avalanche. Tom Perrotta, WSJ, "NHL’s Comeback: Loads of Goals and Surprises," 13 Feb. 2019 Nine first-round forwards in the past 20 years have fit Leaf's profile: 20 or younger and averaging between 2 and 4 points and 1 and 2 rebounds as rookies. Nat Newell, Indianapolis Star, "History says Pacers T.J. Leaf isn't a bust (yet)," 24 June 2018 Things won't likely be any easier against Uruguay, a team with two of the best forwards in the game in Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani. Derek Gatopoulos,, "Pizzi: Saudi Arabia players 'calm' after plane incident," 20 June 2018 Forsberg was seemingly forever injured, but when healthy, few forwards in league history could match his scoring touch. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, "Six-cess for the Wings in draft? History shows pick can go either way," 18 June 2018 The Houston Dynamo have two of the better forwards in Major League Soccer this year, but the team wouldn't mind some goal-scoring help. Glynn A. Hill, Houston Chronicle, "Dynamo remain tight-lipped about Atlético Madrid's Fernando Torres," 12 May 2018 The Democrats staff go find her and try and drag her forward, no corroborating witnesses. Fox News, "Reps. Meadows, Jordan call on Rosenstein to testify," 27 Sep. 2018 The vibe is chilled-out and distinctly West Coast at Kismet, the airy restaurant in Los Angeles known for its produce-forward, Middle-East-by-way-of-California cuisine. S.pellegrino®, Bon Appetit, "A Beach Picnic, L.A. Chef–Style," 25 June 2018 The Daily Record are reporting that Crystal Palace are one of a host of clubs keeping tabs on the young Frenchman, with European giants such as Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Juventus and Marseille also reportedly interested in the forward., "Crystal Palace Monitoring Situation of Celtic Striker Amidst Increased Transfer Speculation," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'forward.' 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 forward


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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1879, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for forward

Adjective, Adverb, Verb, and Noun

Middle English, from Old English foreweard, from fore- + -weard -ward

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Statistics for forward

Last Updated

8 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for forward

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

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More Definitions for forward



English Language Learners Definition of forward

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: near or belonging to the front part of something
: moving or directed ahead or toward the front
: moving toward the future or toward a more advanced state or condition



English Language Learners Definition of forward (Entry 2 of 4)

: toward the front : to or toward what is ahead or in front
: toward the future
: to or toward a more advanced state or condition



English Language Learners Definition of forward (Entry 3 of 4)

: to send (something you have received, such as a letter) to someone else
: to send (something that has arrived, such as a letter) to another place
: to help (something) make progress or continue to a more advanced state



English Language Learners Definition of forward (Entry 4 of 4)

sports : a player who plays near the opponent's goal


for·​ward | \ ˈfȯr-wərd How to pronounce forward (audio) \

Kids Definition of forward

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : near, at, or belonging to the front part a ship's forward deck
2 : moving, tending, or leading to a position in front He made a sudden forward movement.
3 : lacking proper modesty or reserve


variants: or forwards \ ˈfȯr-​wərdz \

Kids Definition of forward (Entry 2 of 4)

: to or toward what is in front Everyone moved forward.


forwarded; forwarding

Kids Definition of forward (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : to send on or ahead forward a letter
2 : to help onward : advance forward a cause



Kids Definition of forward (Entry 4 of 4)

: a player at or near the front of his or her team or near the opponent's goal



Legal Definition of forward

: forward contract at contract

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More from Merriam-Webster on forward

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with forward

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for forward

Spanish Central: Translation of forward

Nglish: Translation of forward for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of forward for Arabic Speakers

Comments on forward

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


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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