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 Honda’s advanced safety systems are standard, and includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane keeping assist. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "The 2020 Honda Passport’s excellence shines through its benign demeanor (review)," 25 Jan. 2020 The officials saw the play differently, blowing the play dead and ruling Leonard's forward progress had been stopped. Tyler Kraft, Indianapolis Star, "D. Leonard being D. Leonard: Darius Leonard breaks out despite Colts loss," 11 Nov. 2019 After stopping forward progress of the fire, Cal Fire canceled its call for dozers to respond to the scene. Lauren Hernández,, "150 firefighters stop progress of 40-acre Moraga fire that prompted evacuations," 10 Oct. 2019 Firefighters were able to stop the forward progress of the blaze and no injuries or damage to structures has been reported, according to the Fire Department. Ben Poston, Los Angeles Times, "Firefighters working to contain 250-acre brush fire in Riverside," 7 Sep. 2019 There's no reason to believe the Longhorns' forward progress won't continue into 2019., "Sam Ehlinger Was Born to Lead Texas's Return to Prominence," 14 Aug. 2019 Extended periods of heart rate-raising forward progress. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "Why You Should Ski Uphill This Spring," 29 Apr. 2019 If the forward movement of the plot is disrupted too completely in order to accommodate a musical number, the performance tends to detach viewers from their story experience. Jeanine Basinger, The Atlantic, "Why Singin’ in the Rain Is an Almost Perfect Musical," 14 Nov. 2019 Humberto’s maximum sustaining winds weakened to 110 mph, but its forward movement slightly increased to 24 mph, the NHC said. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "Hurricane Humberto downgrades into a Category 2 storm, heading northeast," 19 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Portland is the current 9-seed and 2.5 games back of the 8-seed Memphis Grizzlies so every game is a must-win moving forward. Geoff Clark, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz odds, picks and best bets," 7 Feb. 2020 Sasha Arutyunova for The New York Times For two months, many Mets fans have looked forward to seeing their beloved team under new ownership. Kevin Draper, New York Times, "A ‘Disappointed’ Steve Cohen Walks Away From Mets Purchase," 6 Feb. 2020 Looking inside these companies suggests a better way forward – and hope for society’s ability to avert catastrophe. Paul Adler, The Conversation, "Sanders called JPMorgan’s CEO America’s ‘biggest corporate socialist’ – here’s why he has a point," 6 Feb. 2020 Even after 25 years of having Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston for a neighbor, Robert and Nancy Parker still look forward to the Army post’s time-honored routine that rattles their bedroom window every weekday morning at 6:30 a.m. René A. Guzman,, "Fort Sam Houston has fired a cannon every morning and night for 125 years," 5 Feb. 2020 Washington biographies need to be very different, going forward. Karin Wulf, Smithsonian Magazine, "A New Book About George Washington Breaks All the Rules on How to Write About George Washington," 4 Feb. 2020 Meaning staffers looking forward to working from home on snow days should not take the CX-5 the night before. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, "Our Mazda CX-5 Turbo Deserves a Better Infotainment System," 3 Feb. 2020 With thirteen full moons, two supermoons, and a blue moon during 2020, skygazers have plenty of celestial beauty to look forward to this year. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "Bundle Up—A Full "Snow Moon” Is Coming February 8," 3 Feb. 2020 Budget 2020, though, went a step forward in addressing the pain points of young companies. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "Budget 2020’s push for startups shows that entrepreneurship is serious business in India," 3 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Distilled Spirits Council said spirits companies regularly monitor their online content and instruct viewers not to forward it to people below the legal drinking age. Saabira Chaudhuri, WSJ, "Booze Ads on Social Media Stir Controversy," 2 Feb. 2020 Students from East Asia studying in Italy learned of the move in a message from the conservatory’s director, Roberto Giuliani, sent to faculty members, who forwarded it by email and WhatsApp to those affected. Stefano Pitrelli, Washington Post, "A top European music school suspended students from East Asia over coronavirus concerns, amid rising discrimination," 31 Jan. 2020 Ceci said the Postal Service will have the final plans in about two weeks and will forward them to the city of Oak Creek. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'We can't get answers': Outraged South Shore residents speak out against plan for a huge new mail facility in Oak Creek," 29 Jan. 2020 The Union Township Board of Trustees recently agreed to certify petitions seeking a referendum vote on the Miller Place development plan and forward them to the Clermont County Board of Elections. Jeanne Houck,, "Union Township certifies referendum petitions on Miller Place," 3 Jan. 2020 Officers collected information and forwarded it to detectives for their follow up investigation. Houston Chronicle, "Memorial Villages Police Department weekly report," 23 Dec. 2019 Forcht's assistant emailed a copy of the letter on June 5 to Bevin's chief of staff, who then forwarded it to three attorneys in the governor's office, records show. Joe Sonka, USA TODAY, "Republican mega-donor urged ex-Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin to pardon convicted killer," 17 Dec. 2019 The next expected step would be for the committee to draw up a report on the proceedings and forward it to the House Judiciary Committee, which would determine whether articles of impeachment — akin to an indictment — should be drawn up. Lisa Donovan,, "The Spin: Ald. Beale says Mayor Lightfoot’s water policy is a drain on city coffers, calls for halt to budget vote," 22 Nov. 2019 O'Neill said police will conduct a criminal investigation into the shooting before forwarding it to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office to determine whether charges should be filed against the officer. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "Body camera footage shows moments before Glendale officer shot armed teen after party," 22 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Arrogant as all hell, but something about that confidence and the band's commitment to it is intoxicating -- and that groove just sounds great backwards, forwards, or any direction in between. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Five Burning Questions: Billboard Staffers Discuss Dua Lipa's 'Don't Start Now' Hitting the Top 10," 4 Feb. 2020 An ongoing challenge, Griffin said, is keeping the young forward, who packs on muscle quickly, strong enough to control his movements but light enough not to generate more torque. New York Times, "Zion Williamson Is Back. Will His Knee Hold Up?," 24 Jan. 2020 Junior guard Morgan Smith, and the team's 6-foot forwards, junior Brionna Smith and senior Carlee Smith, have the team's best stats and are the core of its team chemistry amid a winning season. Dana Scott, azcentral, "GIlbert Leading Edge girls basketball team's three Smiths eye another 2A state title," 15 Jan. 2020 Josh Ajayi and Trhae Mitchell, South Alabama’s two fifth-year senior forwards, combined for 15 points and 15 rebounds. Creg Stephenson |, al, "South Alabama drops 2nd straight home Sun Belt game, 81-69 to Coastal Carolina," 21 Dec. 2019 Howard has already earned verbal commitments from two top-50 recruits in his first full class with Dickinson and five-star forward Isaiah Todd, ranked No. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball steals Hunter Dickinson, shows Juwan Howard's recruiting power," 20 Dec. 2019 The pedal-drive system is as easy as riding a bicycle and pushes the kayak in either direction, forwards or backwards, to keep you in the sweet spot. Ben Duchesney, Outdoor Life, "The 10 Best Gifts to Buy Kayak Anglers This Season," 16 Dec. 2019 No corresponding move was announced by the Hawks, who are carrying 12 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies on their roster. Jimmy Greenfield,, "Blackhawks’ Drake Caggiula put on injured reserve with 2nd concussion in less than a year," 23 Nov. 2019 Fast-forward to acquisition of the house around 1985 by Jonathan Herman and his wife, who saw an intriguing advertisement for it in the real estate section of the Baltimore Sun. Mary Ann Ashcraft,, "Carroll Yesteryears: Norwood Mansion and Terrace Hill: Two architectural treasures in Carroll County," 23 Nov. 2019

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

25 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Forward.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for forward


How to pronounce forward (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for forward

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with forward

Spanish Central: Translation of forward

Nglish: Translation of forward for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of forward for Arabic Speakers

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