fro·​ward | \ ˈfrō-(w)ərd How to pronounce froward (audio) \

Definition of froward

1 : habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition
2 archaic : adverse

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Other Words from froward

frowardly adverb
frowardness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for froward



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Once upon a time, in the days of Middle English, froward and toward were opposites. Froward meant "moving or facing away from something or someone;" toward meant "moving or facing in the direction of something or someone." (The suffix -ward is from Old English -weard, meaning "moving, tending, facing.") Froward also meant "difficult to deal with, perverse"; toward meant "willing, compliant, obliging." Each went its own way in the end: froward lost its "away from" sense as long ago as the 16th century and the "willing" sense of toward disappeared in the 18th century. A third relative, untoward, developed in the 15th century as a synonym for froward in its "unruly or intractable" sense, and later developed other meanings, including "improper or indecorous."

Examples of froward in a Sentence

their froward pranks are not appropriate in the workplace froward students sent to the office for chronic disciplinary problems

First Known Use of froward

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for froward

Middle English, turned away, froward, from fro from + -ward -ward

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The first known use of froward was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Froward.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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