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

No, not a fashion-forward locale in the south of France where a glamorous clientele already brings the runway to life, but instead the Midwestern Gintaras Lake Resort, once used as a low-key getaway by the likes of Gypsy Rose Lee and Bing Crosby. Vogue, "Black Lip Gloss for Summer? I Tried Chanel’s Take on the Rebellious Shade," 11 July 2019 Rather than wearing little gray and black suits, women started wearing much more fashion-forward things: boots, dresses. Adrienne Gaffney, Town & Country, "The Other Passenger: Who Was Lauren Bessette?," 9 July 2019 This was also the third year in a row she and Nyong’o were photographed at said brunch together, looking fabulous as ever in fashion-forward power suits. Clarkisha Kent,, "All the times Lupita Nyong’o and Janelle Monáe’s friendship made us incredibly jealous," 4 July 2019 These days, there are countless size-inclusive swim brands like Old Navy, Swimsuits for All, and Target that are carrying a variety of fashion-forward styles in a range of sizes that will flatter and accentuate your curves. Allure, "The 25 Best Plus-Size Swimsuits and Bikinis to Buy This Summer," 10 Apr. 2019 In Boston this season, Vatrano was hampered by injuries and buried on the forward depth chart, relegated to a press-box purgatory as a healthy scratch. Matthew Defranks,, "Frank Vatrano ready for new role with new team after trade from Boston to Florida," 7 Mar. 2018 The rearward hand, and that half of his body, propelled the tool; the forward hand, on the wood, resisted. The Economist, "Obituary: David Esterly died on June 15th," 28 June 2019 The Cavaliers, with new coach John Beilein, are still trying to acquire talent in their rebuild, and Culver could play both forward positions and defend the way Beilein likes. 6. Gary Washburn,, "Gary Washburn’s mock NBA Draft," 19 June 2019 His offense is terms of shooting is nearly non-existent, but Little can play both forward positions. 21., "NBA mock draft 2019: Pelicans trade No. 4 pick after Anthony Davis deal; Blazers grab a Tar Heel and former Oregon Duck Bol Bol’s strong ‘pro day’ boosts his stock," 18 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Costley, usually a forward, had the ability to play each of the five positions on the court. Pat Stoetzer,, "Basketball: Westminster star Herman Costley ‘was always the best player’," 13 July 2019 Cities that have moved forward with the invocations, such as Pensacola, Florida, and an Alaskan borough, have faced public backlash. Lorraine Longhi, azcentral, "As Satanists take Scottsdale to court, Surprise City Council adds prayer to start meetings," 12 July 2019 But the grind of the second half will be a good indicator of Means’ viability going forward. Jon Meoli,, "Five questions for the Orioles to answer in the second half of 2019," 12 July 2019 The board isn't going forward with its original plan, announced in February, to cut down the number of players allowed in the tournament from five to four. Robert Rimpson, The Courier-Journal, "KHSAA keeps fifth player for state golf tournament, but only the top teams will advance," 12 July 2019 The team worked to trade for the All-Star forward ahead of the NBA’s trade deadline back in February, but weren’t able to make a deal until after the NBA Draft Lottery, which wasn’t completed until after the free agency moratorium period. Phillip Barnett, LeBron Wire, "LeBron James, Anthony Davis have to wait a season for jersey number swap," 12 July 2019 The true victory for me is following through on an idea regardless of other peoples opinions and trusting that my vision for the brand is positive and necessary to move our people and our thoughts forward. Dominique Hobdy, Essence, "Shop Black: This Brand Is Healing Old Wounds With Forward-Thinking Style," 11 July 2019 That review, obtained by the Free Press, also said the transmissions would be phased out and a different technology used going forward, but that didn’t happen., "FREE PRESS INVESTIGATION: OUT OF GEAR Ford knew Focus, Fiesta models had flawed transmission, sold them anyway," 11 July 2019 But for comic book fans, the teaser hinted at a possible development that could radically change the MCU going forward. Allegra Frank, Vox, "After Spider-Man: Far From Home, the MCU multiverse remains unclear.," 11 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Both picks were forwarded by the Clippers in the George trade. Ira Winderman,, "Heat speculation turns from Westbrook chase to Chris Paul," 12 July 2019 Ford dealerships were forwarding pages and pages and pages of reports involving the Focus and Fiesta from across the country, chronicling transmission issues and customer frustrations, some even threatening to sue trying to get action., "FREE PRESS INVESTIGATION: OUT OF GEAR Ford knew Focus, Fiesta models had flawed transmission, sold them anyway," 11 July 2019 But with the prospect of losing pending UFA forwards Joe Pavelski, Gus Nyquist and Joonas Donskoi to other teams, the Sharks may need to at least dip their toes in the free agency waters to solidify their depth. Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News, "What’s next for the Sharks and Timo Meier? Maybe a waiting game," 29 June 2019 Basically, you’d get paid for forwarding somebody else’s texts. Gregory Barber, WIRED, "The Cypherpunks Tapping Bitcoin via Ham Radio," 27 June 2019 The district did not immediately provide what the correct number of incidents was for that school year, forwarding the request for the information to Northside ISD's open records specialist. Dallas News, "Texas schools are underreporting when students are restrained, federal watchdog finds," 25 June 2019 With the IP addresses, investigators could track where and when emails were forwarded. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Judge reveals how Navy tracked attorneys’ emails trying to find a reporter’s source," 14 June 2019 Warriors forward Draymond Green has plenty of incentive to be on his best behavior in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night. Connor Letourneau,, "Warriors’ Draymond Green has incentive to be on best behavior in Game 6," 12 June 2019 Singer then forwarded to Laura Janke, a former assistant USC women's soccer coach who pleaded guilty in April to racketeering charges after previously pleading not guilty. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, "Dad pleads guilty to paying $250,000 to get son into USC as fake volleyball recruit," 28 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Nylander, the 21-year-old forward who was acquired earlier this month from the Sabres for Henri Jokiharju, will be the only prospect in camp with any NHL experience. Jimmy Greenfield,, "From Kirby Dach to Adam Boqvist: 5 players to watch at Blackhawks development camp," 14 July 2019 The musical fast-forwards three years, and the question becomes whether the pair will ever reunite — and what will become of Kim’s young son, Tam (played on opening night by the quietly charming 4-year-old pro Fin Moulding). James Hebert, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: A pair of powerful performances help redeem sprawling, uneasy spectacle of ‘Miss Saigon’," 11 July 2019 Too often, Robinson appears overmatched against bigger forwards, getting bullied both on the perimeter and inside. Connor Letourneau,, "Warriors’ Glenn Robinson III out to prove he’s more than just a dunker," 6 July 2019 The Dutch team has a dangerous forward, Vivianne Miedema. Jordan Angeli, The Denver Post, "USWNT survives physical match with England as goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher comes up big," 2 July 2019 The Spurs selected a pair of 19-year-old forwards Thursday night in first-round picks Luka Samanic of Croatia and Kentucky-ex Keldon Johnson. Tom Orsborn,, "Spurs in no hurry to fill coaching vacancies," 21 June 2019 The Devils not only have more than $30 million in cap space but a surplus of young forwards and prospects that could make for an intriguing offer to the Predators, who look poised to shake things up after back-to-back early playoff exits. Washington Post, "Follow the money: Salary cap could spawn NHL trade frenzy," 19 June 2019 College senior guards Josh Perkins (Gonzaga), Barry Brown Jr. (Kansas State), and Zach Jackson (Omaha) and Brissett joined a pair of 20-year-old international forwards, France's Digue Diawara and Serbia's Nikola Miskovic. Gregory Levinsky, Detroit Free Press, "NBA draft hopeful has lifetime memory in Detroit. He's hoping for another," 10 June 2019 An athletic, 6-8 forward, Wilkes never shot better than 35.2% from behind the arc in college. Scott Horner, Indianapolis Star, "NBA Draft 2019: Kris Wilkes signs with Knicks," 21 June 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

15 Jul 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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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