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 Dave Barr will run the penalty kill and will return to being the Sharks’ ‘eye in the sky.’ DeBoer shuffled coaching responsibilities midway through last season, as Barr came down to the bench from the press box to work with the forward group. Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News, "Sharks camp: Pete DeBoer says Aaron Dell “needs to deliver”," 15 Sep. 2019 The Bedford High boys’ soccer team continued its pristine start to the season Friday afternoon with a 4-0 win over Boston Latin at West Roxbury, fueled by a hat trick from forward Jesse Collins., "The Bedford High boys’ soccer team continued its pristine start to the season Friday afternoon with a 4-0 win over Boston Latin at West Roxbury, fueled by a hat trick from forward Jesse Collins.," 14 Sep. 2019 The team will be without forward Tesho Akindele, who is tied with Nani for team’s lead in scoring with nine goals. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City preps for shifted lineups against LAFC as both teams cope with call-ups," 6 Sep. 2019 The storm may pass near or directly over the islands of Abacos and Grand Bahama while moving at a slow forward speed. Author: Jason Samenow, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Dorian barrels toward Southeast U.S. as likelihood of direct hit on Florida decreases," 1 Sep. 2019 Firefighters had gained the upper hand on the blaze Sunday evening and had stopped forward progression of the fire, according to the Glendale Fire Department. Glendale News-Press, "Portion of 2 Freeway in Glendale remains closed as crews battle Eagle Rock brush fire," 26 Aug. 2019 Part of the request asks the city manager to bring forward recommendations in the next 75 days. Allison Needles, The Seattle Times, "Tacoma to weigh gun tax patterned after Seattle law," 23 Aug. 2019 When a Teen Driver key is used, the driver can't turn off optional safety features such as forward collision braking and traction control. Dallas News, "Chevrolet adds a Buckle To Drive feature to its Teen Driver safety system," 22 Aug. 2019 The more boring official term for this is forward head posture or scholar’s neck or text neck (a sign of the times). T. Wise, Bon Appétit, "I Thought It’d Be Easy to Fix My Bad Posture—I Was Wrong," 7 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb But the wild nature of the second half tested the Orlando City defense, which was often left vulnerable as the Lions pushed forward to hunt for goals. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Three things we learned from Orlando City’s 3-3 draw with the New England Revolution," 17 Sep. 2019 Colorado forward Andre Shinyashiki appears to be the front-runner. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "From secret to sensation: Loons midfielder Hassani Dotson rises to MLS rookie of year contention," 14 Sep. 2019 The team had been told last month that line prosecutors had recommended moving forward, and Jessie Liu, a US attorney for the District of Columbia, had endorsed their recommendation., "McCabe lawyers say attacks make fair trial impossible," 17 Sep. 2019 The council, in recent weeks, was willing to move forward with the creation of the new department that would be funded within the 2020 budget. al, "Mobile’s ongoing legal woes threaten timely budget vote," 17 Sep. 2019 The San Diego City Council votes Tuesday whether to move forward and create a community choice energy program that would include as many as four other towns in the region. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Community choice energy across San Diego on the cusp of becoming reality," 16 Sep. 2019 In spite of the pushback, the Amsterdam Museum is moving forward with its plans to make its halls more inclusive and more sensitive. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Why the Amsterdam Museum Will No Longer Use the Term ‘Dutch Golden Age’," 16 Sep. 2019 Words and phrases are passed from character to character, and instead of moving forward in time, the book circles like an airplane (one of its recurrent images). Christine Smallwood, Harper's magazine, "Novel, Essay, Poem," 16 Sep. 2019 Jones remains in office as contract negotiations move forward. Cindy Burton, Detroit Free Press, "UAW corruption scandal hangs over contract talks: Here's the latest," 16 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Their vote will be forwarded to Gov. Larry Hogan for his consideration. Pamela Wood,, "10 lawyers and judges apply for one spot on Maryland’s highest court," 17 Sep. 2019 All charges were forwarded to Circuit Court Sept. 16, according to online court records. Jon Kelvey,, "Case of Taneytown man who allegedly rammed truck into City Hall moved to Circuit Court," 16 Sep. 2019 Please forward this email to friends (sign up here). Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Hotline newsletter: Heat Index 2.0, TV exposure galore in Week Three, crafting the football schedule and more," 14 Sep. 2019 The findings will be forwarded to the Clark County District Attorney's Office for review, LVMPD Assistant Sheriff Charles Hank said at a press conference Tuesday. Chris Boyette, CNN, "Las Vegas police are investigating the death of a man who repeatedly told officers 'I can't breathe' during arrest," 11 Sep. 2019 The complaint was forwarded to an independent ethics officer for review and initial screening, according to city spokesman Kelly Corsette. Lorraine Longhi, azcentral, "Complaint against Scottsdale councilwoman alleges interference in city investigation," 6 Sep. 2019 That blueprint is then forwarded to key members of the production team: line producer Lana Pitkin, production designer Ricardo Barcelo, cinematographer James Griffith and directors Tim Wolochatiuk and Mark Mainguy. Daniel Vaillancourt, Los Angeles Times, "‘Air Disasters’: Smithsonian Channel’s hit has a recipe of compelling stories," 30 Aug. 2019 Rather than conduct public hearings, the allegations were forwarded to the Office of Legislative Services, an administrative office that handles lobbyist registration. Skyler Swisher,, "Florida Senate closes investigation into NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer with no fines or sanctions," 23 Aug. 2019 The case was forwarded to the Alabama Attorney General’s Office for investigation. Ashley Remkus |, al, "Limestone County’s 10-term sheriff arrested on ethics, theft charges," 22 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Related Articles Minnesota signed free agent forward Bridget Carleton to a seven-day contract. Mike Cook, Twin Cities, "Collier, Lynx stop slide by beating Dallas 86-70," 22 Aug. 2019 Four-star New Jersey prep forward Lance Ware committed to the Wildcats Thursday afternoon over finalists Michigan, Ohio State, Providence and Miami. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "What Lance Ware commitment means for Kentucky basketball recruiting," 9 July 2019 Hillcrest Prep has loaded up its roster since Ayton left with high majors in 6-7 senior guard Dalen Terry, 6-10 junior forward Michael Foster, 6-5 guard Kyree Walker, 6-1 sophomore guard Dior Johnson and 6-7 senior forward Andre Harris. Richard Obert, azcentral, "AZ Compass Prep building a national basketball power that could rival Hillcrest," 8 July 2019 Chosen from the Galaxy were Ibrahimovic and Dos Santos while LAFC will send forwards Vela and Rossi, midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye and defender Walker Zimmerman. Kevin Baxter,, "Soccer! What to watch for in the U.S.-England Women’s World Cup semifinal match," 2 July 2019 The Hawks would welcome and could use top free-agent forwards Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene and Anders Lee, but those players are seeking long-term deals and have many suitors. Jimmy Greenfield,, "5 reasons the Blackhawks (probably) won’t make a big splash when free agency starts today," 1 July 2019 Eventually the rescue copter’s forward motion slowed the spinning enough to bring the woman into the cabin., "Watch: Helicopter rescue goes awry as 74-year-old hiker spins out of control underneath," 6 June 2019 The $25 million iShares Global Green Bond ETF (BGRN), launched in March 2017, has a 0.20% net expense ratio and is similar to GRNB, but uses currency forwards to hedge its heavy nondollar exposure. Ari I. Weinberg, WSJ, "It Isn’t Easy Being Green for a Bond ETF," 9 Dec. 2018 Messi's return date from injury was initially unknown, but a source at ESPN revealed that the Argentine forward is already back to full fitness - before the club released pictures of him on Twitter training with his Barcelona teammates., "Lionel Messi Returns to Barcelona Training," 15 Sep. 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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Statistics for forward

Last Updated

4 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for forward

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

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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

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 calculated move

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