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 The fire’s forward progress had been stopped shortly before 2:30 a.m. Friday, about an hour after firefighters first responded. Michael Williams,, "At least 4 injured as fire erupts at S.F. high rise," 20 Nov. 2020 The system utilizes forward motion, or coasts, until the brakes are engaged rather than capturing this energy for the battery right away. Popular Science, "With the all-new Taycan, Porsche bets big on electric—and sees unparalleled results," 4 Dec. 2020 This is forward-motion music with the thrust of history at its back. Chris Richards, Washington Post, "In a year without dance floors, Theo Parrish knows the way forward," 2 Dec. 2020 Her work is in constant forward motion, fuelled largely by necessity. Leah Johnson,, "Quinn Whitney Wilson is Giving Black Women The Big, Beautiful Art They Deserve," 21 Aug. 2020 The storm’s forward motion fell to 28 mph, and is expected to see more slowing throughout Wednesday. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "Isaias cools and passes into Canada; Hurricane Center keeps eye on Atlantic storm," 5 Aug. 2020 Forecasters said some decrease in its forward motion was expected. Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY, "Hurricane Isaias churns through Bahamas en route to Florida's east coast; North Carolina island evacuated," 2 Aug. 2020 These weaker circulations can reduce forward speed of tropical systems, hence allowing for wetter and more destructive storms. Allison Chinchar And Haley Brink, CNN, "Historic 2020 Atlantic hurricane season comes to a close," 30 Nov. 2020 The cost of that widespread assumption: Japan’s central bank has effectively lost the tool of forward guidance. Craig Torres,, "Central Banks Short on Ammo Forced to Rely on Governments," 12 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb James Hardy, a high-flying forward on the 1976-77 USF Dons team that was ranked No. 1 in the country, died of a heart attack in Long Beach on Dec. 29. Steve Kroner,, "James Hardy, forward on USF team that was ranked No. 1 in 1976-77, dies at age 64," 7 Jan. 2021 The Houston Texans are taking their first significant step forward in the aftermath of the Bill O'Brien era. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Houston Texans hire longtime New England Patriots personnel executive Nick Caserio as new general manager, per report," 6 Jan. 2021 Glass has special, wild properties that make it of ongoing interest to scientists as well as the general public, meaning research into glass behavior is still making pretty big strides forward. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Discover a New State of Matter: Liquid Glass," 6 Jan. 2021 Celtics center Robert Williams and forward Jayson Tatum entered Wednesday’s game against the Heat as Boston’s most dangerous pairing. Adam Himmelsbach,, "Celtics coach Brad Stevens blasts President Trump, calling Wednesday’s events a ‘disgraceful ending’," 6 Jan. 2021 Senior forward Davon Smith-Johnson scored 17 points with four assists, and the Tigers cruised at home in nonleague play. Matt Goul, cleveland, "Warrensville Heights isn’t satisfied after working overtime: Boys basketball rewind," 6 Jan. 2021 The ever-mysterious Lady Whistledown (narrated by none other than Julie Andrews) plucks together the hottest gossip from every household for her scandalous newsletter that even the queen looks forward to reading. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "What's Your Favorite String Arrangement of a Pop Hit From Netflix's 'Bridgerton'? Vote!," 6 Jan. 2021 The Wolverines' sophomore forward was everywhere in Sunday night's blowout victory. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "As Michigan basketball finds its stride, so does Franz Wagner," 5 Jan. 2021 Fast forward to Sunday at MetLife Stadium with the Cowboys’ playoff hopes on the line in the regular season finale at the Giants. Dallas News, "To challenge, or not to challenge? Mike McCarthy altered Cowboys’ playoff fate in two different seasons," 5 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb An attorney helping Joe Exotic asked a federal judge on Dec. 16 to order the U.S. Justice Department to forward his pardon request to Trump for consideration. al, "Tiger King Joe Exotic still pushing for Trump pardon," 28 Dec. 2020 The central committee will forward its pick to Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who has the final say over the appointment. Pamela Wood,, "Baltimore Democrats to meet Tuesday to nominate successor to Nick Mosby in House of Delegates," 28 Dec. 2020 Once a message has been forwarded five times, that speed limit gets reduced and users can only forward it to one person or group at a time. Nicolás Rivero, Quartz, "How social media platforms plan to curb fake news about the US election," 30 Oct. 2020 The central committee will forward its nomination to Gov. Larry Hogan, who has the final say over the replacement. Pamela Wood,, "Nick Mosby becoming Baltimore City Council president leaves vacancy in House of Delegates," 10 Dec. 2020 Batallion Chief Brian McEnery reported the photo to Assistant Fire Chief Neal Ague on Sept. 17, asking him to forward his complaint along with the photograph up the chain of command to the Human Resources Department. Brian Chasnoff,, "San Antonio fire chief violated city policies by posing for photo with naked sushi woman, city officials say," 1 Dec. 2020 While the Bucks acquired Holiday to enhance their championship chances and entice MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo to sign a super-max extension, the Pelicans collected three first-round picks along with guard Eric Bledsoe and forward George Hill. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Why the Pelicans were smart to trade Jrue Holiday to the Bucks," 17 Nov. 2020 Any keys found with an Idento-Tag could be dropped in a mailbox, and the postal service would forward them to DAV and the keys would be returned to their owner – who often sent back a grateful donation. Jeff Suess, The Enquirer, "'We will have our voice heard': Founded in Cincinnati, Disabled American Veterans honors 100th anniversary," 11 Nov. 2020 Users will only be able to forward a chat to five people or groups at a time. Nicolás Rivero, Quartz, "How social media platforms plan to curb fake news about the US election," 30 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Heat formally announced the signings Wednesday of undrafted free agents Breein Tyree, a guard out of Mississippi, and Paul Eboua, a forward from Cameroon who has been playing in Italy. Ira Winderman,, "Heat sign first-round pick Precious Achiuwa, with next goal to create a role," 25 Nov. 2020 Oliver, a 6-foot-2 forward from Stockton, had 17 points and 16 rebounds. Thuc Nhi Nguyen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Short-handed USC rolls past LMU; UCLA’s game against Cal State Fullerton postponed," 25 Nov. 2020 Kawaguchi, a senior forward from Abbotsford, British Columbia, received 27 of 28 votes by media members. Randy Johnson, Star Tribune, "Jordan Kawaguchi leads three North Dakota players on preseason All-NCHC team," 24 Nov. 2020 Peyton McFarland, a 6-foot-4 forward from Boise, is another top-100 commit, while 6-foot-5 Australian freshman Kelsey Rees should have an immediate role. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah women’s hoops set to open Wednesday with core back, and exciting recruits," 23 Nov. 2020 Naji Marshall, a 6-foot-7 forward from Xavier, also could be a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency option on the wing. Christian Clark,, "Pelicans adding Sindarius Thornwell and Wenyen Gabriel, source confirms," 23 Nov. 2020 In other notable picks, the Washington Wizards selected Deni Avdija, a forward from Israel, at No. 9. Scott Cacciola, New York Times, "Anthony Edwards Drafted No. 1 by the Minnesota Timberwolves," 18 Nov. 2020 Mayo is a forward from Pleasanton, California (Amador Valley High School) who plays club with the Pleasanton Rage. Jeff Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic, "Signing day: ASU softball, volleyball, men's golf score big," 11 Nov. 2020 Carly Carraher, a forward from Westview of Beaverton, was invited to U.S. Soccer’s training camp in 2015, 2016 and 2017. oregonlive, "National signing day: Here’s who Oregon State landed in baseball, basketball, wrestling, soccer, golf, softball and volleyball," 11 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for forward

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for forward

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Forward.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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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