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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from forward


forwardly adverb
forwardness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for forward

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Kuwait hosts over 13,000 American troops and the U.S. Army’s Central forward headquarters. Washington Post, "AP Explains: Rising Iran, US tension after general’s killing," 3 Jan. 2020 All four Coyotes forward lines produced an even-strength goal in the win, the first time that has happened all season. Richard Morin, azcentral, "Arizona Coyotes roar back in third period, beat Anaheim Ducks," 2 Jan. 2020 Sound waves also travel slower in colder weather, slowing down their forward speed and further muffling noise. Chris Bianchi, The Denver Post, "Why is it so quiet after a snowstorm?," 28 Dec. 2019 Analysts then zoomed in on crime scenes, moving backward and forward in time among the images to see suspects arriving and getting away. CBS News, "Baltimore to become first city monitored by police surveillance planes," 20 Dec. 2019 His first job was being a forward artillery observer. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "This veteran was brought back to life after an explosion. Now he uses his life to help student veterans — and cook.," 19 Dec. 2019 Security guarantees and the forward deployment of conventional forces bound America to Europe and the Europeans to each other. Matthew Continetti, National Review, "Present at the Demolition," 14 Dec. 2019 Center back Walker Zimmerman is off with the U.S. national team, defender Eddie Segura and midfielder Eduard Atuesta are in camp with Colombia’s under-23 team and forward Diego Rossi is with Uruguay’s under-23 team. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, "LAFC to open training camp with unfinished business and a depleted roster," 11 Jan. 2020 Hastings isn’t new to combining social- forward concepts with separate dining rooms, having selected a more open dining room plan at Ovenbird, complete with a hearth room and two different bars. al, "Chef Chris Hastings on the next chapter of Hot & Hot Fish Club," 10 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb In your case, having a large list of names can be overwhelming, and if not careful, can cause you to get stuck in moving forward. Houston Chronicle, "Break down your networking lists," 11 Jan. 2020 Moving forward with the program, Edwards wants all of that to change. Greg Moore, azcentral, "Here's why ASU football coach Herm Edwards fired three offensive coaches in big overhaul," 11 Jan. 2020 The council voted to speak with developers and come up with a plan to move forward by the end of February. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Franklin officials have wanted to make this road safer for years. Local Cub Scouts might finally get them to do it.," 10 Jan. 2020 Now, Selena is focused on moving forward with her new music. Kori Williams, Seventeen, "Selena Gomez Says She Will No Longer Make 'Sexual' Music Videos," 10 Jan. 2020 In other words, that $30 bottle of champagne could set you back by $60, if the tariffs move forward. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Your favorite French wine could soon double in price," 10 Jan. 2020 Below, our picks for 25 shows to look forward to in the first few months of 2020, and the ones to keep an eye on the rest of the year. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Most Unmissable TV Shows of 2020," 9 Jan. 2020 Randomized clinical trials are essential tools for helping us learn, adapt, and move forward on innovative solutions that make peoples’ lives better. Amy Finkelstein, STAT, "Did a high-profile program really slash hospital spending? Or was it a cautionary tale of ‘regression to the mean’?," 8 Jan. 2020 That makes this practice time that much more valuable and needed for this team to move forward. Ky Carlin, Sixers Wire, "Sixers discuss the importance of practice in midst of four-game skid," 5 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green reacts during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in San Francisco, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019. Connor Letourneau,, "Draymond Green to return vs. Bucks; Stephen Curry practices with left hand," 7 Jan. 2020 Having apparently made their rounds, or some portion of their rounds, these Census-takers never forwarded all their paperwork up the line to be counted. al, "Alabama’s mortifying miscount of 1820 Census; and the tally is still wrong," 28 Dec. 2019 With 2:35 left in the first, Colorado forwards Matt Nieto and Val Nichushkin went hard to the net, and Nichushkin dragged a backhander around Jaroslav Halak (16 saves on 19 shots)., "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 8 Dec. 2019 And Toronto forwards Nick Shore and Trevor Moore each played three seasons at the University of Denver. Mike Chambers, The Denver Post, "Chambers: Western Conference giant Calgary has fallen on tough times," 23 Nov. 2019 The starting frontcourt – center Theo John, forwards Brendan Bailey and Sacar Anim – combined for just one field goal and five points. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Marquette's offense struggled in the loss to UW. So, how can the Golden Eagles get better shots?," 22 Nov. 2019 Liverpool forwards Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane aimed a playful dig at teammate Andy Robertson after the full-back scored in the Reds' 4-3 win over Salzburg in the Champions League on Wednesday., "Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane Take Friendly Swipe at Liverpool Teammate After Salzburg Win," 3 Oct. 2019 Among those making their debuts for the Canucks were rookie defenseman Quinn Hughes, forwards Micheal Ferland and Miller, and defensemen Myers and Jordie Benn. San Diego Union-Tribune, "McDavid, Draisaitl lead Oilers past Canucks 3-2 in opener," 2 Oct. 2019 Signing holdout forwards Patrik Laine (two years, $13.5 million) and Kyle Connor (seven years, $50 million) was vital to their future. ... Los Angeles Times, "NHL Western Conference questions: Can the Blues repeat as champions?," 1 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Lillard ranks third in fan voting among Western Conference guards with 687,855 votes, while Anthony ranks eighth among forwards in the West with 520,021 votes. oregonlive, "NBA All-Star voting: Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard remains 3rd among Western Conference guards, Carmelo Anthony remains 8th among forwards in West," 9 Jan. 2020 Others competing for playing time are senior forwards Marcus Gibson, Ezequiel Perez and Jevin Ruffin. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana high school basketball preview: Indy-area class-by-class capsules," 24 Nov. 2019 But to answer your question, there will be a few forwards toward the top of the draft who could perhaps start as rookies. Connor Letourneau,, "Warriors mailbag: Why didn’t they sign Kendrick Nunn? Help coming in 2020 draft?," 4 Nov. 2019 Others missing from the squad were forwards Ángel Di María and Sergio Aguero. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Argentina routs Ecuador 6-1 without suspended Messi," 13 Oct. 2019 Those three were the Kings’ worst forwards in plus/minus rating Wednesday. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, "Kings coach has an ominous message for his players after blowout loss to Canucks," 10 Oct. 2019 The two Maryland players on the Sun’s roster are forwards Alyssa Thomas and Brionna Jones (Aberdeen). Edward Lee,, "'It’s a good day to be a Terp’: WNBA Finals between Mystics, Sun features six former Maryland players," 29 Sep. 2019 Kerr, who is considered one of the top forwards in the world, won the 2017 NWSL MVP Award and 2017 and 2018 NWSL Golden Boots. Jamie Goldberg,, "Portland Thorns vs. Chicago Red Stars: Players to watch, TV channel, how to watch live stream online," 23 Aug. 2019 In addition to Taurasi, other Mercury players out because of injury are forwards Sancho Lyttle (knee), Essence Carson (calf) and Alanna Smith (ankle). Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "WNBA suspends Phoenix Mercury's Brittney Griner for 3 games, Diana Taurasi for 1," 11 Aug. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about forward

Time Traveler for forward

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for forward

Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Forward.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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 feeling of well-being or elation

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!