Meaning of FOR in English

I. fə(r), (|)fȯ(ə)r, (|)fȯ(ə), in R speech in the southern US also (|)fär preposition

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German fora before, furi before, for, Old Norse fyr, Gothic faur before, for, Latin per through, pro before, for, prae before, Greek pro before, ahead, Sanskrit pra- before, forward, Old English faran to travel, go — more at fare

1. obsolete : before


a. : as a preparation toward

dressing for dinner

or against

storing nuts for the winter

or in view of

making plans for retirement

studying for examinations

: having as goal or object

volunteered for the air force

b. : in order to be, become, or serve as

originally built for a church

ordered eggs for breakfast

c. : in order to bring about or further

working for the good of humanity

d. : to supply the need of

food for hungry mouths

e. : with the purpose or object of

an instrument for measuring speed

f. : adapted to

suits for tall men

a calendar for 1960

or prerequisite to

a shelf for books

mathematics for engineers

g. : in order to obtain

write for a free catalog

or gain

work for a living

h. : in order to save (something in danger)

on trial for his life

could not tell for the life of me whether he was serious

running for dear life

or to remedy

take something for his cough

don't like to sell the house, but there is nothing else for it

mud is good for bee stings


a. — used as a function word to indicate the object of a feeling

hungry for praise

longing for home

or faculty

a taste for spicy food

an eye for color

b. : so as to secure as a result : conducive to

telling you for your own good

acting for the best in forbidding the trip


(1) : intending to go to or toward

has just left for the office

starting out for a trip across the country

(2) : on the point of : having the intention of

was just for going to bed

wise men will have it that he meant these islands, and I am not for arguing the point — Norman Douglas

d. — used as a function word to indicate the person or thing that something is to be delivered to

any letters for me

or assigned to

a slot for out-of-town mail

or used by or in connection with

are these the tires for this car

4. : to the amount of

a check for $100

or extent of

can see for miles from the hilltop

or duration of

waited for several hours

won't be here for long

or value of

now pull for all you are worth


a. : in place of

go to the store for me

Doe now batting for Roe

: in exchange as the equivalent of

all that trouble for nothing

my kingdom for a horse — Shakespeare

or in requital of

he gave blow for blow

an eye for an eye

b. : in behalf of

his lawyer will act for him in this affair

: in support of

let me carry that for you

or in defense of

fighting for their country

: in favor of

a prayer for those at sea

which candidate are you for

— opposed to against

c. : in honor of : after

named for his grandfather


a. — used with a noun or pronoun followed by an infinitive to form an equivalent to such noun clauses as that he should, that he might

for him to confess would be painful

shouted the news for all to hear

for you to have to pay for this is not fair

here are some books for you to read

b. — used chiefly South & Midland redundantly after such verbs as like, want, choose

I'd like for you to go

c. — used as a function word to introduce exclamations

for her to talk to her father like that

or mild oaths

for God's sake hold your tongue and let me love — John Donne


a. : as being

know for a fact

do you take me for a fool

take for granted

mere noisy shouting often passes for comedy

left for dead on the field

b. — used as a function word to indicate parenthetically an actual or implied enumeration or selection from an aggregate or series

for one thing, we have no money; for another, we have no time

people don't buy it because, for one thing, the price is too high

I for one will vote for him

for the last time, will you stop that noise

be sensible for once


a. : because of

shouted for joy

: on account of

decorated for bravery

do it for my sake

b. obsolete : in order to prevent : for fear of

here they shall not lie, for catching cold — Shakespeare

9. — used as a function word to indicate equality or proportion between numbers or quantities that are related, compared, or contrasted

for every good writer there are a dozen scribblers

answered his argument point for point

repeated the speech word for word

the best fighter, weight for weight, in the country


a. : as regards : in respect to : concerning

a stickler for detail

so much for that topic

true for all I know

safe for the present

good country for deer

b. : in proportion to

tall for his age

: taking into account : considering

very cool for May

that was a good score for him

c. : in spite of : notwithstanding — usually used with all

you don't convince me for all your clever arguments

the elephants for all their great size moved absolutely noiselessly — Jule Mannix

a man's a man for a' that — Robert Burns

- for all me

- for all the world

- for itself

II. conjunction

Etymology: Middle English, from for, preposition

1. archaic : by reason that : for the reason that : because

my foolish rival, that her father likes only for his possessions are so huge — Shakespeare

2. : for this reason or on this ground : as indicated or shown by the following circumstance : in substantiation of which : witness the fact that — used to introduce a reason for something before advanced (as a cause, motive, explanation, justification, or proof, of an action related or a statement made)

we believe that he will succeed, for he has talent

the army should be reduced in numbers, for possession of large armies has led nations to war

3. obsolete : in order that

and, for the time shall not seem tedious, I'll tell thee what befell me — Shakespeare

III. ˈfȯ(ə)r, ˈfȯ(ə), in R speech in the southern US also ˈfär noun

( -s )

Etymology: for (I)

1. : one who takes the affirmative side

2. : what is said or felt in favor of someone or something : pro

IV. abbreviation

1. foreign

2. forel

3. forest; forestry

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.