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

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 Fashion-forward and functional styling, imagine that. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "How to Wear a Cape Like Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle," 28 Feb. 2019 Isaac's forward movement was accelerating on a path to cross into the lower Caribbean on Thursday. Fox News, "Hurricane Florence updated to Category 4 as it barrels toward Carolinas, Mid-Atlantic states," 13 Sep. 2018 The company said Monday that WhatsApp’s more than one billion global users can now only forward material to five individual users or groups at once, down from 20. Newley Purnell, WSJ, "Facebook’s WhatsApp Fights Fake News by Curbing Message Forwarding," 21 Jan. 2019 No scary dialog talking about key exchanges and whether or not the perfect forward secrecy is perfect enough; just tap—connected—done. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Testing WireGuard with an early-adopter VPN service," 11 Dec. 2018 Halloween stunt foods are something to look forward to, a momentary flicker of delight breaking up the relentless monotony of the forward march of time. Rachel Sugar, Vox, "Halloween is an aesthetic, not a flavor.," 29 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Dumbbell thruster Skater hop Lateral to forward raise Rest 1 minute. Amy Marturana, SELF, "25-Minute Total-Body Dumbbell Workout," 8 Mar. 2019 But in everyday life, most of us really only move forward and backward. SELF, "5 Lunges Everyone With Tight Hips Should Do," 22 Feb. 2019 The 20-year-old France forward has netted in three straight games since both forwards were ruled out of PSG’s trip to face Manchester United in the last 16 of the Champions League last week. Jerome Pugmire, The Seattle Times, "Mbappe scores 20th league goal as PSG routs Montpellier 5-1," 20 Feb. 2019 Williams’s show had followed through in putting forward a picture of her thorough-going practice in championing the transformative abilities of fashion to elevate marginalized groups and to demonstrate the value of ethically handmade craft. Sarah Mower, Vogue, "The Duchess of Cornwall Presents the Second Queen Elizabeth II Award for Design to Bethany Williams," 19 Feb. 2019 We then fast-forward to after the incident, where Danny is relaying the face-off to his sister, Erin Reagan (Bridget Moynahan). Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "This Dramatic 'Blue Bloods' Moment Will Change Danny Reagan's Life Forever," 15 Feb. 2019 AllBright also has a partnership with female-forward brands such as Johnnie Walker, whose Jane Walker initiatives celebrate the many achievements of women. Prue Lewington, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Career Club Is the Global Sisterhood You've Always Wanted," 11 Feb. 2019 In a sense, then, Intel’s future is already set: continue driving forward in the PC space, make gobs of money from the datacenter and Xeon chips, and continue investing in IoT to help further synergies in Intel’s ecosystem. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel makes Bob Swan its permanent CEO, maintaining a slow, steady course away from the PC," 31 Jan. 2019 Army Crawl: Arms propel the body forward while tummy drags on the floor. Karla Walsh, Woman's Day, "When Do Babies Crawl? Here's Everything You Need to Know," 28 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Tatum and forwards Kyle Kuzma of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Lauri Markkanen of the Chicago Bulls joined them on the first team. Keith Pompey,, "Sixers' Ben Simmons wins rookie of the year; James Harden gets MVP," 25 June 2018 Kunzelman forwarded the Free Press a message provided by Petland Novi. Ann Zaniewski, Detroit Free Press, "Petland sold sick, worm-infested puppies, lawsuit claims," 19 Mar. 2018 Recently, a friend forwarded me copies of two letters Bunnell wrote to Commissioner J. Sam Norwood of Jack Wade, in the Fortymile district toward the Canadian border. Michael Carey, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaskans’ tendency to strong views is rich and well-archived," 1 Feb. 2018 According to a series of emails to various lawyers and Estée Lauder executives forwarded to me in May and June, Truaxe confirmed he’d been hospitalized at that time but suggested that he had been given drugs against his will. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "What the latest report on skin care company Deciem reveals about its troubled founder," 3 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 This year’s free agent class has pieces Florida could use in forwards John Tavares and James van Riemsdyk, plus defenseman John Carlson. Matthew Defranks,, "As Panthers bleed millions annually, Vinnie Viola aims to be 'a very competitive, non-cap team'," 19 June 2018 Underclassman and the future of the program include three true freshmen who start on varsity in forward Jaime Vega, Kevin Cavazos and defender Somtochukwu Okorie. Alvaro Montano, Houston Chronicle, "Boys soccer: Dekaney's growing pains part of foundation for future," 24 Mar. 2018 Fast-forward to present day, and the Galaxy Tab S4 and the Galaxy Note 9 have DeX built in. Stefan Etienne, The Verge, "The Galaxy Note 9 is one step closer to the smartphone-computer dream," 13 Aug. 2018 But don't be surprised to also see the actor looking fashion-forward as hell in some artsy editorial shoots. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "10 Jace Norman Facts Every True "Henry Danger" Fan Should Know," 23 Jan. 2019 Watch for forwards Fyodor Smolov and Aleksander Kokorin. Michelle Kaufman, miamiherald, "Uruguay is favored and this country could keep the host Russians from advancing | Miami Herald," 18 May 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

25 Mar 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).


a shady place in a garden or forest

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