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

The constant forward movement, not demanding or exciting but still, inexorably, movement, has an effect on me. Alex Baker-whitcomb, WIRED, "The FTC Takes On Mark Zuckerberg, Rutger Hauer Dies, and More News," 24 July 2019 Defensively, the versatile Gordon ranked among the league’s best at the forward position. Roy Parry,, "Magic’s Aaron Gordon took big step as play-maker this season," 13 June 2019 After a couple of months of this, our perception of how our planets are moving hits the reset button, and Mars appears to resume its forward movement. Mindy Weisberger, Fox News, "Why Mars appears to be moving backward," 16 July 2018 Antagonist to the hamstrings are the quadriceps muscles (thighs), which work with the hip flexor to extends the leg during forward movement., "Optimum Performance: Serena Williams' clay court path to the French Open," 30 Mar. 2018 Sargent also noted that many consumers are reporting problems with the latest wave of advanced driver assistance systems, such as forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and blind spot detection. NBC News, "Porsche, Kia top list of highest-quality cars, with Land Rover and Jaguar among the worst," 19 June 2019 Standard equipment includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control systems. Washington Post, "Edmunds compares the Kia Telluride and Honda Pilot," 12 June 2019 The team followed the lead of the Arizona Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons — who had previously also turned away from their classic uniforms to fashion-forward looks with wild piping on the pants and accents on the shoulders. Jim Reineking, USA TODAY, "NFL's worst-ever uniforms, from Color Rush and throwbacks to regrettable rebrandings," 2 Sep. 2019 Accessorize the look with her badge and a fashion-forward magazine, and you're set! Caylin Harris, Country Living, "The Best 'The Office' Costumes That Will Definitely Win You a Dundie This Halloween," 22 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

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 Barring a contrary ruling from the full Second Circuit or emergency intervention by the Supreme Court, the case will soon move forward—and Mr Trump’s finances and potential conflicts of interest could be thrust into the public spotlight. S.m. | New York, The Economist, "An appeals court revives an emoluments-clause lawsuit against Donald Trump," 16 Sep. 2019 Dipping into the expansiveness of black collective history that included stories of hardship, survival, and ingenuity, the designer seemed to present his clothes as some necessary inspiration, particularly for black people, to move forward. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "The Big Takeaway From NYFW 2019: Find More Joy," 13 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The group collected $15 from each member, but forwarded only $12 from each to Girl Scouts of the USA. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Girls Scouts council in Fairbanks wins legal skirmish with national organization," 16 Sep. 2019 That shouldn’t be an issue as forwards Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Rantanen look to turn last season’s hot streak into a strong 2019 campaign and lead one of the league’s best young teams. Dan Falkenheim,, "Most Intriguing Storylines Heading Into 2019–20 NHL Season," 15 Sep. 2019 The agency agreed to review the probe and documents the city collected, but the city hasn’t yet forwarded all the materials, FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said. Stephen Hudak,, "Apopka probe of fire chief ‘inconclusive and...essentially moot’," 13 Sep. 2019 The case went to the Constitutional Court after the state ombudsman forwarded complaints from two citizens who charged that Prayuth’s failure to pledge allegiance to the constitution was a breach of the charter. Washington Post, "Thai court declines to hear case of PM’s incomplete oath," 13 Sep. 2019 High-profile evangelical conservative Jerry Falwell Jr., a staunch Trump supporter and president of Liberty University, wants the FBI to investigate current and former university employees for... forwarding emails. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Forwarding email is a crime, Jerry Falwell Jr. says after leaks to media," 12 Sep. 2019 Others unsigned for next year are guards Leilani Mitchell and Yvonne Turner and forwards Essence Carson and Sancho Lyttle. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner plan to return for Phoenix Mercury in 2020," 12 Sep. 2019 Davis, and forwards Paul Millsap and Montrezl Harrell were among the frontcourt players who opted not to play on this squad. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Behind Team USA's debacle: Five reasons U.S. national team faltered," 11 Sep. 2019 England internationals Abbie McManus and Mary Earps, Scotland forward Jane Ross and Wales midfielder Hayley Ladd are the other players to have arrived at United this summer., "Man Utd Women Confirm Signing of Swedish Defender Lotta Okvist," 20 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The senior forward was the Player of the Week in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference., "The junior forward tallied 9 points in a 3-0 stretch for the 4-0 women’s soccer team at Worcester Polytech, including her 80th career point. The Notre Dame Academy-Hingham grad was the Women’s Soccer Athlete of the Week in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference.," 13 Sep. 2019 The forward was fifth in scoring last year in the CMAC at 20 points per game and averaged a double-double with 12.4 rebounds. Shelby Dermer,, "Mark Mitchell returns to Taft High School as assistant basketball coach," 21 Aug. 2019 The versatile forward is averaging 11.7 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Akeem Glaspie, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Fever players Erica Wheeler, Candice Dupree named to 2019 WNBA All-Star team," 15 July 2019 At kickoff, Watson lines up at left back, but the senior is a former forward and currently a full-field problem for opponents., "At kickoff, Watson lines up at left back, but the senior is a former forward and currently a full-field problem for opponents. Shortly after moving to the back line due to a lack of depth at the position, Watson realized he didn’t need to be limited by the change.," 17 Sep. 2019 The Sharks, however, lost free-agent forwards Joe Pavelski (Dallas), Joonas Donskoi (Colorado) and Gus Nyquist (Columbus), who combined to score 58 of the Sharks’ club-record 289 goals last season. Ross Mckeon,, "Sharks see plenty of reasons for hope on eve of training camp," 11 Sep. 2019 The local club had an opportunity to tally the go-ahead goal in the 85th minute when forward Frank Lopez had a one-on-one scoring chance, but was denied by Phoenix goalkeeper Zac Lubin. Terrence Thomas,, "SAFC falls to USL’s top team on late goal," 8 Sep. 2019 Goalie Kerri Silverstein at Atholton, midfielder Lily Sullivan at Centennial, along with forwards Sarah Nam at Reservoir and Zoe Reading at Wilde Lake are all back and expected to serve as leaders for their respective squads. Brent Kennedy,, "Reloading Glenelg field hockey aiming to hold off hungry group of Howard County programs," 3 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

7 Oct 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).


involving a confidence or trust

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