- at or to a great distance; a long way off; at or to a remote point: We sailed far ahead of the fleet.
- at or to a remote or advanced time: We talked far into the night.
- at or to a great, advanced, or definite point of progress, or degree: Having come this far, we might as well continue.
- much or many: I need far more time. We gained far more advantages.
- being at a great distance; remote in time or place: a far country; the far future.
- extending to a great distance: the far frontiers of empire.
- more distant of the two: the far side.
- a far cry (from). cry(def 27).
- as far as. as1(def 18).
- by far,
- by a great deal; very much: too expensive by far.
- plainly; obviously: This melon is by far the ripest of the lot.
- far and away, by far; undoubtedly: She is far and away the smartest one in the class.
- far and wide, to great lengths; over great distances: He traveled far and wide in search of his missing son.Also far and near, near and far.
- far be it from me, I do not wish or dare (to interrupt, criticize, etc.): Far be it from me to complain, but it's getting stuffy in here.
- far out, Slang.
- unconventional; offbeat: His sense of humor is far out.
- radical; extreme: political opinions that are far out.
- recondite or esoteric: an interest in art that was considered far out.
- few and far between. few(def 5).
- go far,
- to attain success: With so much talent he should go far.
- to have a great effect toward; help: The new evidence will go far toward proving the defendant's guilt.
- how far, to what distance, extent, or degree: She didn't know how far they had gone in the mathematics text. How far do you think they can be trusted?
- on the far side of. side1(def 26).
- so far,
- up to now: So far, I've had no reply to my request.
- up to a certain point or extent: We were able to plan only so far because of various factors beyond our control.
- so far so good, succeeding or managing adequately to this point; doing well thus far: The work is difficult, but so far so good.
- the far side. side1(def 29).
- thus far,
- up to the present; up to now: We have met no resistance to our plan thus far.
- to a particular degree, point, or extent: When you get thus far in the experiment, consult with the professor.
Origin of far
- at, to, or from a great distance
- at or to a remote timefar in the future
- to a considerable degree; very mucha far better plan
- as far as
- to the degree or extent that
- to the distance or place of
- informalwith reference to; as for
- by far by a considerable margin
- far and away by a very great margin
- far and wide over great distances; everywhere
- far be it from me I would not presume; on no accountfar be it from me to tell you what to do
- far gone
- in an advanced state of deterioration
- informalextremely drunk
- go far
- to be successful; achieve muchyour son will go far
- to be sufficient or last longthe wine didn't go far
- go too far to exceed reasonable limits
- how far? to what extent, distance, or degree?
- in so far as to the degree or extent that
- so far
- up to the present moment
- up to a certain point, extent, degree, etc
- so far, so good an expression of satisfaction with progress made
- remote in space or timea far country; in the far past
- extending a great distance; long
- more distantthe far end of the room
- a far cry
- a long way
- something very different
- far from in a degree, state, etc, remote fromhe is far from happy
Word Origin and History for by far
Old English feorr "far, remote, distant, to a great distance, long ago," from Proto-Germanic *ferro (cf. Old Saxon ferr, Old Frisian fer, Old Norse fjarre, Dutch ver, Old High German ferro, German fern, Gothic fairra), from PIE *per- "through, across, beyond" (cf. Sanskrit parah "farther, remote, ulterior," Hittite para "outside of," Greek pera "across, beyond," Latin per "through," Old Irish ire "farther"). Far East "China, Japan, and surrounding regions" is from 1838.
Idioms and Phrases with by far
Also, far and away. To the greatest degree, by a large margin. For example, She is by far the most experienced member of the cast, or, as Anthony Trollope wrote, “He was far and away the cleverest of his party” (The Duke's Children, 1880). The first term dates from the late 1700s, the variant from the mid-1800s. Also see by half.