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

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Verb

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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

Adjective the forward deck of a boat the forward movement of history a very forward young woman Adverb 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. Verb 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 This season, Tufte and Josh Melnick have formed one of the three most-used forward pairs on the PK and Tufte has only been on the ice for two power-play goals against. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Stars prospect update: How Adam Mascherin, Riley Tufte, Ben Gleason and Thomas Harley are performing in the AHL," 2 Apr. 2021 This is a Bordeaux-style blend with a decidedly New World, fruit-forward accent. Washington Post, "This extraordinary $16 French rosé proves that 2020 was a good year for pink," 2 Apr. 2021 This fruit-forward wine is spiced and textured, and best enjoyed alongside sumptuous meals. Anthony Marcusa,, "The best cheap red wine," 1 Apr. 2021 Outside, the vessel sports a sizable basketball court on the forward deck that doubles as a helipad, an infinity pool that cascades to the swim platform, a jacuzzi, and a rooftop party area on the top deck for late-night shenanigans. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, "This Epic 360-Foot Superyacht Concept Has a Helipad That Doubles as a Basketball Court," 1 Apr. 2021 Burruss takes no issue with the more rock-forward approach that soon became Pink's signature. Marcus Jones,, "Kandi Burruss reflects on hits she made with Xscape, Destiny's Child, Pink, NSYNC, and more," 1 Apr. 2021 Then there is forward Maurice Harkless, who was sent to the Sacramento Kings in the trade that landed outside-shooting big man Nemanja Bjelica with the Heat. Ira Winderman,, "Former Heat center Kelly Olynyk thriving for Rockets in wake of deadline; Harkless gets chance with Kings," 30 Mar. 2021 Al Fury, the Hilton’s security director, gave us a suite near the shooting site to use as a forward command post. Thomas J. Baker, WSJ, "The Day the President Was Shot," 28 Mar. 2021 The Wolverines started the quarter down 7 points, but forced overtime with 15 seconds left on a layup by forward Naz Hillmon. New York Times, "Indiana Upsets No. 1 Seed North Carolina State at N.C.A.A. Tournament," 27 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb And despite the 54-53 loss, Arizona has served notice the program is a new power out West and one to be reckoned with nationally going forward. Jim Vertuno, ajc, "Overlooked Arizona refused to be counted out until last shot," 5 Apr. 2021 Talks with Iran -- even indirect ones -- would be a major geopolitical step forward for the administration, which has tried to bring the Middle East power to the negotiating table since President Biden took office. Peter Aitken, Fox News, "US to have indirect nuclear deal talks, Iran quickly pushes back," 4 Apr. 2021 With only five tight ends on roster, the return of Pittman and Prince is invaluable to not only the immediate future but to the overall development of the position going forward. Evan Dudley, al, "‘A lot on their plate’: Terrell McDonald filling up on TE reps," 3 Apr. 2021 Their opponents going forward will have a lot more weapons, so locking everyone down will not be easy. Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, "March Madness schedule, odds and TV info for Saturday's men's NCAA Tournament Final Four games," 3 Apr. 2021 Aaron Rodgers is not necessarily 100% part of the plan going forward. Mike Hart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "ESPN talkers cry foul on Mark Murphy and the Packers for not restructuring Aaron Rodgers' contract," 3 Apr. 2021 Council President Mike Vecchio suggested SCBA equipment replacement should be budgeted on a regular rotation going forward, and Mencini proposed reviewing the city budget every three months. Beth Mlady, cleveland, "Fire department surprises Brook Park council with last-minute $325,000 budget request," 3 Apr. 2021 Cornerstone Foundation promises to be an invaluable resource going forward., "Community News For The Manchester Edition," 2 Apr. 2021 The focus regarding Covid going forward should be on offering vaccination to anyone who wants it, and protecting at-risk groups and individuals. WSJ, "How Important Is Herd Immunity to Covid?," 2 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb County Counsel James Williams also asked residents to not forward links to vaccine appointments to other people. Chronicle Staff,, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: Jan. 7-13," 21 Jan. 2021 WhatsApp now limits users' ability to forward messages to more than one chat at a time; that led to a 70% reduction in the number of highly forwarded messages. Will Weissert, Star Tribune, "From vote to virus, misinformation campaign targets Latinos," 7 Mar. 2021 The Livestream pay-per-view concert in October, has raised $15 million in Series B funding to forward its mission of building the creator economy. Tatiana Cirisano, Billboard, "Maestro Livestreaming Platform Raises $15M From Sony Music, Twitch's Kevin Lin & More," 2 Mar. 2021 If the bill is to stay alive, the subcommittee would forward it to the House Judiciary Committee for review. oregonlive, "Oregon’s House Speaker pushes bill to prohibit police from charging interfering with officer if person passively resists cop’s order," 25 Feb. 2021 Your supervisor thanks you for e-mailing about where to lodge concerns about struggling students and instructs you to e-mail this exact query to K, who will forward it to L, who will have R enter it into a spreadsheet. Rebecca Turkewitz, The New Yorker, "Kafka Narrates My Online Teaching Experience," 5 Jan. 2021 An attorney helping Joe Exotic asked a federal judge on Dec. 16 to order the U.S. Justice Department to forward his pardon request to Trump for consideration. al, "Tiger King Joe Exotic still pushing for Trump pardon," 28 Dec. 2020 The central committee will forward its pick to Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who has the final say over the appointment. Pamela Wood,, "Baltimore Democrats to meet Tuesday to nominate successor to Nick Mosby in House of Delegates," 28 Dec. 2020 Once a message has been forwarded five times, that speed limit gets reduced and users can only forward it to one person or group at a time. Nicolás Rivero, Quartz, "How social media platforms plan to curb fake news about the US election," 30 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Oats spent much of the season defending Reese as his 6-foot-9 forward struggled consistently from three-point range. Mike Rodak |, al, "Alex Reese saved his best shot at Alabama for last," 1 Apr. 2021 What’s particularly exasperating is when the flash-forward teasers aren’t even that exciting to begin with. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, "Let’s Not Do the Time Warp Again," 26 Mar. 2021 As a skill set, Gordon has everything the Warriors like in a forward. Patrick Murray, Forbes, "Should The Golden State Warriors Target Aaron Gordon At The NBA Trade Deadline?," 21 Mar. 2021 Variants can be found in The Bourne Identity, Twilight and other modern pulp fictions that begin with a narrative flash-forward—and also in the many films and TV shows that open with a glimpse of an event to come. Angus Fletcher, Smithsonian Magazine, "Eight of Literature’s Most Powerful Inventions—and the Neuroscience Behind How They Work," 10 Mar. 2021 With most of our other major players accounted for in the flash-forward (is Miguel still alive? Maggie Fremont, Vulture, "This Is Us Recap: Precious Cargo," 23 Feb. 2021 But in the flash-forward at Bud's funeral, Tully shows up and Kate is furious. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "The Ending of 'Firefly Lane,' Explained," 9 Feb. 2021 Michaela Onyenwere, a 6-foot senior forward, who is averaging a team-high 19.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Charli Collier, UT women to face No. 3-seed UCLA as underdogs," 23 Mar. 2021 However, the senior forward played an important role midway through Texas’ season. Dallas News, "Texas forward Royce Hamm, guard Donovan Williams enter NCAA transfer portal," 23 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for forward

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for forward

Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Forward.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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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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