Meaning of FAR in English

I. far 1 S1 W1 /fɑː $ fɑːr/ BrE AmE adverb ( comparative farther /ˈfɑːðə $ ˈfɑːrðər/ or further /ˈfɜːðə $ ˈfɜːrðər/, superlative farthest /ˈfɑːðəst, ˈfɑːðɪst $ ˈfɑːr-/ or furthest /ˈfɜːðəst, ˈfɜːðɪst $ ˈfɜːr-/)

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: feorr ]


a) a long distance:

Have you driven far?

Since I changed jobs, I have to travel further to get to work.

Let’s see who can jump the furthest!

far from

The children don’t go far from home.

far away

She wants to move as far away from here as possible.

They could hear the sound of water not far away.

far down

He lives further down the street.

further afield (=further away from where you are now)

If you want to go further afield, there are bicycles for hire.

further north/south etc

Many birds fly further south in the autumn.

The plains stretched for as far as the eye could see (=all the distance you could see) .

The lake is about 4 miles away, but we probably won’t get that far (=won’t go as far as that place) .

b) how far used when asking the distance between two places, or when talking about the distance between two places:

How far is it to the station?

The man didn’t say how far it was to the next town.

c) as far as something to a place or point, but not beyond it:

They managed to get as far as the Spanish border.


In everyday English, far is usually only used in negative sentences ( it’s not far ) and questions ( how far…? )

In positive sentences, people usually use the expression a long way :

Her house was a long way from the nearest town.

▪ It’s so far to go! ➔ It’s such a long way to go!

2 . A LOT/VERY MUCH very much, or to a great degree

far better/easier etc

The new system is far better than the old one.

There are a far greater number of women working in television than twenty years ago.

far more/less

I enjoyed it far more than I expected.

far too much/long/busy etc

That’s far too much to pay.

It would take me far too long to explain.

far above/below/beyond

He bought it for a price that was far beyond (=much more than) its real value.

The teacher said that her writing skills were far below average.

We’ve kept the original features of the house as far as possible (=as much as possible) .

How far do those old, outdated laws affect today’s legislation?

His style was far removed (=very different) from that of Picasso.

not far off/out/wrong (=close to being correct)

I guessed it would cost $100 and it was $110, so I was not far out.

3 . PROGRESS used to talk about how much progress someone makes, or how much effect something has:

He started to explain, but he didn’t get far (=he did not succeed in saying very much) before Mary interrupted him.

get as far as doing something

They had got as far as painting the kitchen.

Many people felt that the new law did not go far enough (=did not have a big enough effect, so that more needed to be done) .

4 . TIME a long time in the past or the future, or a long time into a particular period

far into

We talked far into the night.

far ahead

They want to plan much further ahead than the next few years.

The first petrol-driven car was produced as far back as 1883.

⇨ ↑ far-off

5 . go too far ( also take/carry something too far ) to do something too extreme:

One day she will go too far.

Some people thought he had gone too far in his criticism of the police.

6 . go so far/as far as to do something spoken to do or say something extreme:

The government went so far as to try to arrest opposition leaders.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that we agreed on the subject.

7 . so far ( also thus far formal ) until now:

So far we have not had to borrow any money.

They’re delighted with the replies they’ve received from the public thus far.

8 . so far so good spoken used to say that things have been happening successfully until now:

We’ve reached the semi-finals. So far so good.

9 . far from something used to say that something very different is true or happens:

Conditions are still far from ideal.

far from doing/being something

Far from helping the situation, you’ve just made it worse.

10 . far from it spoken used to say that the opposite of what has just been said is true:

‘Are you bored?’ ‘Far from it. I could listen all night.’

Local people aren’t objecting – far from it.

11 . far and wide over a large area:

His fame spread far and wide.

People came from far and wide (=came from many places) to see the concert.

12 . by far/far and away used to say that something is much better, worse etc than anything else:

Watching sport was by far the most popular activity on Saturday afternoons.

Spring is far and away the best time to visit the islands.

13 . somebody will/would/should etc go far used to say that you think someone will be successful in the future:

He was the best student in his year, and everyone was sure he would go far.

14 . as/so far as I’m concerned spoken used when giving your opinion about something:

As far as I’m concerned she can come home whenever she likes.

15 . as/so far as something is concerned spoken used when you want to talk about a particular thing:

As far as money’s concerned, there shouldn’t be a problem.

16 . as/so far as I know/I can remember/I can tell/I can see etc spoken used to say that you think that something is true, although it is possible that you do not know all the facts or cannot remember completely:

There weren’t any buildings there at all, as far as I can remember.

As far as I can see, there’s nothing else to discuss.

17 . far be it from me to do something spoken used when saying that you do not want to criticize someone or say what they should do, especially when this is what you are really about to do:

Far be it from me to teach you your job, but don’t you think you should have been more careful?

18 . as far as it goes used to say that an idea, suggestion, plan etc is satisfactory, but only to a limited degree:

His theories are fine, as far as they go.

19 . not go far

a) if money does not go far, you cannot buy very much with it:

My salary doesn’t go very far these days.

b) if a supply of something does not go far, it is not enough:

The coffee won’t go far if everyone wants a cup.

20 . in so far as/insofar as/in as far as formal to the degree that:

The research suggests that the drug will be successful, in so far as one can draw conclusions from such a small sample size.

• • •


▪ far adverb a long distance – used mainly in negatives and questions, or after ‘too’, ‘so’, and ‘as’:

It’s not far to the airport from here.


Have you driven far?


The ship was so far away we could hardly see it.

▪ a long way adverb a long distance from somewhere. This is the most common way of talking about long distances, except in negatives and questions when far is also common:

You must be tired – you’ve come a long way.


It’s a long way down from the top of the cliff.


I can’t see things that are a long way away.

▪ miles adverb informal a very long way:

We hiked miles.


The school is miles away from where I live.

▪ in the distance adverb a long way from where you are now – used when talking about things that seem small or sounds that seem quiet because they are a long way away:

Dogs were barking somewhere in the distance.

▪ distant adjective especially written used about something that is a long distance from where you are now, and looks small or sounds quiet:

By now, the plane was just a distant speck in the sky.


the rumble of distant thunder

▪ faraway adjective especially written a very long distance from where you are now:

a traveller from a faraway land


His voice sounded faraway.


He told us stories about the faraway countries he had visited.

▪ remote adjective a remote place is a long distance from other places, and few people go there:

The helicopter crashed in a remote part of the country.


remote holiday destinations

▪ isolated adjective an isolated place is a long distance from other towns, buildings, or people, and there is very little communication with surrounding places:

isolated rural areas of Nepal


Occasionally we passed through a small isolated village.


If you travel to isolated areas, make sure you have a good guide.

▪ off the beaten track ( also off the beaten path American English ) adverb a place that is off the beaten track is a long distance from the places where people usually go, and often seems interesting and different because of this:

She likes to go to places that are a bit off the beaten track.

II. far 2 S1 W1 BrE AmE adjective ( comparative farther or further , superlative farthest or furthest )

1 . a long distance away OPP near :

We can walk to my house from here. It isn’t far.

You could see the mountains in the far distance.

2 . the far side/end/corner etc the side, end etc that is furthest from you OPP near :

They crossed the bridge and walked along the far side of the stream.

There was a piano in the far corner of the room.

3 . the far north/south etc the part of a country or area that is furthest in the direction of north, south etc:

It will become windy in the far north and west.

4 . the far left/right people who have extreme ↑ left-wing or ↑ right-wing political opinions:

The candidate for the far right got ten percent of the vote.

5 . be a far cry from something to be very different from something:

The company lost £3 million, which is a far cry from last year’s £60 million profit.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.