for·​ward | \ ˈfȯr-wərd 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

For much of the postcrisis period, the Fed relied on forward guidance—publicly committing not to raise the federal-funds rate without signaling a shift long in advance. Jason Furman, WSJ, "The Case for Pausing the Interest-Rate Climb," 27 Nov. 2018 That put it in position to taxi and make forward progress toward takeoff, according to Mike Ehl, from the Port of Seattle. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "Stolen Horizon Air plane ‘a serious breach,’ raises questions about airport security," 14 Aug. 2018 The front rotors rap the air a bit harder, halting the forward momentum. Dan Neil, WSJ, "The First Flying-Car Review," 12 Sep. 2018 Some stores, like American Eagle, make adorable, fashion-forward gear for a large selection of schools to bump your Saturday wardrobe up to the next level. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "15 Care Package Items for Every Kind of College Student," 2 Aug. 2018 The Phillies hired Gabe Kapler to be a forward thinker. Jon Tayler,, "Phillies Manager Gabe Kapler Is Off to a Brutal Start, But It's Just the Beginning of His Experiment," 4 Apr. 2018 Go for just-plain-gorgeous in these fashion-forward booties with a colorful parrot print and chunky, 3-inch metallic-gold heel. Bree Coven Foster, The Seattle Times, "5 fall boots for rain and shine," 8 Oct. 2018 Skip the stilettos and reach for a comfortable pair of loafers or fashion-forward sneakers. Micaela English, Town & Country, "19 Things You Should Never Wear While Traveling," 1 Oct. 2018 Eugenie's known for wearing fashion-forward pieces, from floral minidress to fit-and-flare three-quarter sleeve dresses. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "What Will Princess Eugenie's Wedding Dress Look Like? Everything We Know So Far," 27 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Moving forward, Hailey said she's dedicated to just being her most true self. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Hailey Bieber Opened Up About Her Insecurities and New Year's Resolution on Instagram," 7 Jan. 2019 Nine-Nine, with more episodes where the characters just ping off each other amusingly, and the plot doesn’t really move forward. Noel Murray, The Verge, "The 20 best TV series of 2018," 12 Dec. 2018 The episode delivered a satisfying—and emotional—arc and moved the story forward, something that's all-too important as Big Bang approaches the last half of its final season. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The Big Bang Theory," 6 Dec. 2018 Monday, October 8 David isn’t looking forward to figuring out how to get to work this morning. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "How bike advocate Katie Deolloz gets around Austin," 19 Oct. 2018 Not everyone is looking forward to the opportunity of new regulations. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "A Regulatory Overhaul Could Drastically Change Who Can Fly Drones in the U.S.," 28 Sep. 2018 The change would only apply to sentences going forward, so the Bureau of Prisons won’t release drug dealers en masse. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Jailbreak for Bipartisanship," 15 Nov. 2018 Meredith Carey, Laura Redman, and Mark Ellwood will be trading off the lead mic going forward. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "Travelogue Podcast: Things You Should Never, Ever Do on a Road Trip," 3 Nov. 2018 Most shoppers understand that used furniture usually has minor issues, and this shouldn't deter them from moving forward with a purchase. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "An Expert's Top Advice for Selling Furniture Online," 13 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On Tuesday, Jonathan Berkon, an attorney for Mr. Murphy and a partner at the law firm Perkins Coie LLP, testified that the governor in June forwarded to him Ms. Brennan’s email. Kate King, WSJ, "Lawmakers Grill Murphy Officials Over Handling of Sexual-Assault Claim," 8 Jan. 2019 Police learned of the relationship after being forwarded a report from the state’s Department of Child Services, because that agency was going to investigate. Amy Lavalley, Post-Tribune, "3 from South Haven church face child sex abuse-related charges," 22 June 2018 People can always set up the alternate address to forward to their main address. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Amazon customers’ names and email addresses disclosed by website error," 21 Nov. 2018 Detectives are preparing to forward a case to prosecutors for review later Tuesday, Abbott added. Lewis Kamb, The Seattle Times, "Man accused of assaulting Burien mayor surrenders to police," 24 July 2018 Gone are the Gumby-like CGI effects that plagued Warner Bros.’s past DC Comics movies like Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, making them look as if someone fast-forwarded a WWE fight. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Aquaman goes for broke and lands somewhere between overstuffed marine opera and cheesy comic book fun," 11 Dec. 2018 Wind two-inch sections of hair around a one-and-a-quarter-inch curling iron—twisting the hair backwards for one section, then forwards for the next section—hold for five seconds, and release. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "60-Second Glow Up: How to Get Dewy Skin and Messy Waves Fast," 17 July 2018 The removal notices forwarded to Conn and Bradshaw contained links to tweets by other users that FIFA had also complained had violated copyright protection. NBC News, "Fans howl over taking down World Cup Twitter posts for copyright issues," 14 July 2018 The complaint says that Faust forwarded the email to the company’s vice president, Marc Davis. Faiz Siddiqui, Washington Post, "Virginia, U.S. sue company behind defective Metro Silver Line concrete," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Loewe speaks directly to that fashion-forward, artisanal customer; Gucci has a very extroverted customer. Mark Holgate, Vogue, "’90s-Era Prada Nylon, Investment Blazers, and the Blanket You Share With Your Bed: What We Bought in 2018," 17 Dec. 2018 The stretch-forward is expected to join the Sixers this upcoming season. Keith Pompey,, "If Sixers think they'll miss out on Mikal Bridges, they might move out of 10th spot in NBA draft," 20 June 2018 Daisy Duck is fashion-forward in her own design studio/autograph stop. Dewayne Bevil,, "First look: Donald's Dino-Bash at Disney's Animal Kingdom," 6 June 2018 Butterfly Print Tribute Sunglasses $295 at Versace Thick, sturdy acetate gives this fashion-forward edition added integrity. The Cut, "Buy These Sunglasses in Every Color," 24 May 2018 An athletic 6-7 forward from Canada, he was widely regarded as the top recruit in the 2018 class and has been projected as the No. John Marshall, The Seattle Times, "Purdue’s Edwards headlines preseason AP All-America team," 23 Oct. 2018 Where fashion-forward LVMH leads, its rivals tend to follow. Carol Ryan, WSJ, "Louis Vuitton’s Owner Takes the Grand Tour," 14 Dec. 2018 Foodies have plenty of options, from the inventive New American cuisine at 221 South Oak (run by chef Eliza Galvin of Top Chef season 10 fame), to the seafood-forward Asian tapas at Siam’s Talay Grille in Mountain Village. Alex Bhattacharji, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Telluride Keeps Being Named the Best U.S. Ski Town," 5 Dec. 2018 Of course, Meghan being Meghan (and very fashion-forward), her pants were much wider. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Wore Meghan Markle-Esque Wide-Leg Pants to an Air Force Base," 5 Dec. 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

14 Jan 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 \

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

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