- a prefix meaning “away,” “off,” “to the uttermost,” “extremely,” “wrongly,” or imparting a negative or privative force, occurring in verbs and nouns formed from verbs of Old or Middle English origin, many of which are now obsolete or archaic: forbid; forbear; forswear; forbearance.
Origin of for-
- indicating rejection or prohibitionforbear; forbid
- indicating falsity or wrongnessforswear
- used to give intensive forceforgive; forlorn
Word Origin and History for for-
prefix usually meaning "away, opposite, completely," from Old English for-, indicating loss or destruction, or completion, also used as an intensive or pejorative element, which is related to Old Norse for-, Dutch ver-, Old High German fir-, German ver-; from PIE *pr-, from root *per- (1) "forward, through" (see per). Probably originally in Germanic with a sense of "forward, forth," but with complex sense developments in the various languages. Ultimately from the same root as fore (adv.).