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

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 By contrast, the American S&P 500 has a forward P/E ratio of 25—and few would call American investors bullish. Rich Karlgaard, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2022 The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss U.S. intelligence assessments, said Russian forces largely remained in defensive positions near the capital, Kyiv, and were making little forward progress elsewhere in the country. Yuras Karmanau, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Mar. 2022 In his 1990 book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi argues that enjoyment gives you a sense of effort, forward movement, and accomplishment. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 24 Mar. 2022 Of course, there has always been resistance to any forward movement for Black folk. Angela Bronner Helm, Essence, 1 Feb. 2022 One child’s forward movement was met with another child’s dodge. Washington Post, 13 Nov. 2021 Criticism of the draft COP26 agreement released yesterday focused on the lack of high ambition and the lack of clear milestones, potentially damaging forward movement on transparency and accountability. Felicia Jackson, Forbes, 11 Nov. 2021 That allowed one of the Suns' top 3-point shooters in forward Cam Johnson to start in the road loss to Oklahoma City Thunder (14 points in 32 minutes) on April 3. Dana Scott, The Arizona Republic, 14 Apr. 2022 Shares trade at 30x forward earnings and 13.4x sales. Jon Markman, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb As the final seconds ticked off the clock Tuesday night, junior forward Tyra King came up with a plan. Matt Le Cren, Chicago Tribune, 11 May 2022 Fast forward to today, and Lauren’s charitable mission has only strengthened. Lauren Tappan, Town & Country, 11 May 2022 The veteran forward isn’t listed on the team’s injury report after appearing to injure his left shoulder from a collision with Mavs guard Josh Green as the two were going for a loose ball in the fourth quarter. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 11 May 2022 The Detroit Tigers took one step forward early Tuesday afternoon, snapping their six-game losing streak and actually scored a run for the first time in 28 innings — woo-hoo! Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, 11 May 2022 The budget additions — including the dividend increase — obliterated the Senate’s plan to forward fund education costs for the 2024 fiscal years to the tune of $1.2 billion. Iris Samuels, Anchorage Daily News, 11 May 2022 This cherry-picker construction vehicle became unable to move up or down, but was able to drive forward & back. Matt Yan,, 11 May 2022 Isaiah Whaley and forward Tyler Polley exhausted their eligibility, while guards R.J. Cole and Tyrese Martin turned pro. Shreyas Laddha, Hartford Courant, 11 May 2022 In the years since Endgame, the path forward for Marvel has become significantly less clear. Evan Romano, Men's Health, 11 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In addition, a group within a community will only be able to forward messages to one group at a time, rather than five, which is the current limit. Michael Kan, PCMAG, 14 Apr. 2022 Hollander informed Sprinkel about the call and the text messages and offered to forward them to Sprinkel. Thomas Lake, CNN, 19 Mar. 2022 Hartenstein won’t play Wednesday; neither will forward Nicolas Batum (ankle). Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 28 Dec. 2021 Some states, including California and Michigan, adopted the same definitions as the CDC, giving facilities the option for state officials to forward their data to the CDC instead of submitting twice. Nick Penzenstadler, USA Today, 10 Mar. 2022 The Bears lost consecutive home games for the first time since 2015-16, then injuries began piling up, including a gruesome leg injury to forward Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua. oregonlive, 28 Feb. 2022 To force vaccinations, the health care system will forward the names of the unvaccinated people over 50 to tax authorities so they can be fined. New York Times, 31 Jan. 2022 The City Council’s Budget Committee voted 4-0 Wednesday to forward the fee increases to the full council for a final vote sometime next month. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Jan. 2022 The Coalition will also be sending the resource guide to 6,000 educators across the state at the end of the month, with a request to forward it to their peers. Zareen Syed,, 11 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Although a new actor will likely be cast to play the younger character, Sutherland could appear in flash-forward scenes in the upcoming movie. Erica Gonzales, ELLE, 30 Apr. 2022 Their fall was juxtaposed with the rise of Kate's romance with Phillip (Chris Geere), which was teased in a flash-forward at the end of season 5. Dan Snierson,, 13 Apr. 2022 Center Drew Eubanks led the Blazers with 20 points and forward CJ Elleby scored 17. oregonlive, 7 Apr. 2022 Whyte, making his first challenge for a major world title after half a decade spent competing for lesser championships, is a come-forward slugger with a thunderous left hook. New York Times, 22 Apr. 2022 Like many IPAs, the beer has an expressively bright citrus-forward note with a muscular showing of balancing bitterness. Josh Noel,, 23 Mar. 2022 Anigwe, a 6-4 forward/center, is a three-year WNBA veteran with stops in Connecticut, Dallas and Los Angeles. Jenna Ortiz, The Arizona Republic, 18 Mar. 2022 The blouse features long balloon sleeves that get an extra boost of trend-forward style thanks to the lace detailing, which also adds to its appeal as the ideal seasonal transition piece. Brittany Vanderbill,, 15 Mar. 2022 Green, who hasn’t played meaningful minutes since early January because of a nagging back injury, is a point-forward type who helps Golden State establish its up-tempo style with his ability to handle the ball and make the right reads. C.j. Holmes, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near forward



forward air controller

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for forward

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Forward.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for forward


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 I 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

More from Merriam-Webster on forward

Nglish: Translation of forward for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of forward for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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