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[fahr-th er] /ˈfɑr ðər/
adverb, compar. of far with farthest as superl.
at or to a greater distance:
He went farther down the road.
at or to a more advanced point:
They are going no farther in their studies.
at or to a greater degree or extent:
The application of the law was extended farther.
adjective, compar. of far with farthest as superl.
more distant or remote than something or some place nearer:
the farther side of the mountain.
extending or tending to a greater distance:
He made a still farther trip.
Nonstandard. further (defs 5, 6).
Origin of farther
1300-50; Middle English ferther; orig. variant of further
Can be confused
farther, father, further (see usage note at the current entry)
Usage note
Although some usage guides insist that only farther should be used for physical distance (We walked farther than we planned), farther and further have been used interchangeably throughout much of their histories. However, only further is used in the adverbial sense “moreover” (Further, you hurt my feelings) and in the adjectival senses “more extended” (no further comment) and “additional” (Further bulletins came in).
The expression all the farther (or further) in place of as far as occurs chiefly in informal speech: This is all the farther the train goes. See also all.


[fahr] /fɑr/
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.
adjective, farther or further, farthest or furthest.
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,
  1. by a great deal; very much:
    too expensive by far.
  2. 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.
  1. unconventional; offbeat:
    His sense of humor is far out.
  2. radical; extreme:
    political opinions that are far out.
  3. recondite or esoteric:
    an interest in art that was considered far out.
few and far between. few (def 5).
go far,
  1. to attain success:
    With so much talent he should go far.
  2. 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,
  1. up to now:
    So far, I've had no reply to my request.
  2. 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,
  1. up to the present; up to now:
    We have met no resistance to our plan thus far.
  2. to a particular degree, point, or extent:
    When you get thus far in the experiment, consult with the professor.
before 900; Middle English far, fer, Old English feorr; cognate with Old High German ferr, Old Norse fjar, Gothic fairra; akin to German fern far, Latin porrō forward, further
Related forms
farness, noun
overfar, adverb, adjective
Can be confused
fair, far, fare.
Usage note
See as1, farther. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for farther
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • farther down the coast there are oysters so big one of 'em will make a square meal for four or five people.

    The Puritan Twins Lucy Fitch Perkins
  • farther up the street is the church of St. Stephen, mentioned in Domesday.

    Exeter Sidney Heath
  • farther away stood an unmistakable policeman with close-cropped black hair and a line of white at the top of his forehead.

    Lady Lilith Stephen McKenna
  • farther she could not see, but in the cloud of the future the woman was clear.

    Hex Laurence Mark Janifer (AKA Larry M. Harris)
  • farther on, the empty road gave us shadows of trees and rustlings of long grass.

    The Promised Land Mary Antin
  • Trajan was ordered in hot haste from farther Spain to the Rhine.

  • farther west lowland glaciation was abundant as far south as western Washington.

    Climatic Changes Ellsworth Huntington
  • farther in were placed four more pieces, commanding two cross passages.

    Our Soldiers W.H.G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for farther


to or at a greater distance in space or time
in addition
more distant or remote in space or time
Usage note
Farther, farthest, further, and furthest can all be used to refer to literal distance, but further and furthest are regarded as more correct for figurative senses denoting greater or additional amount, time, etc: further to my letter. Further and furthest are also preferred for figurative distance
Word Origin
C13: see far, further


adverb farther, further, farthest, furthest
at, to, or from a great distance
at or to a remote time: far in the future
to a considerable degree; very much: a far better plan
as far as
  1. to the degree or extent that
  2. to the distance or place of
  3. (informal) with 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 account: far be it from me to tell you what to do
far gone
  1. in an advanced state of deterioration
  2. (informal) extremely drunk
go far
  1. to be successful; achieve much: your son will go far
  2. to be sufficient or last long: the 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
  1. up to the present moment
  2. up to a certain point, extent, degree, etc
so far, so good, an expression of satisfaction with progress made
adjective (prenominal)
remote in space or time: a far country, in the far past
extending a great distance; long
more distant: the far end of the room
a far cry
  1. a long way
  2. something very different
far from, in a degree, state, etc, remote from: he is far from happy
Derived Forms
farness, noun
Word Origin
Old English feorr; related to Old Frisian fīr, Old High German ferro, Latin porro forwards, Greek pera further
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for farther

c.1300, variant of further (q.v.), by 17c. it replaced ferrer as comparative of the descendant of Old English fierr "far" (itself a comparative but no longer felt as one). Vowel change influenced by the root vowel, and confusion with Middle English ferþeren "to assist, promote, advance" (see forth). There is no historical basis for the notion that farther is of physical distance and further of degree or quality.



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with farther
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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