• synonyms


[fawr, fohr]
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  1. situated at or toward the front, as compared with something else.
  2. first in place, time, order, rank, etc.; forward; earlier.
  3. Nautical.
    1. of or relating to a foremast.
    2. noting a sail, yard, boom, etc., or any rigging belonging to a fore lower mast or to some upper mast of a foremast.
    3. noting any stay running aft and upward to the head of a fore lower mast or to some specified upper mast of a foremast: fore topmast stay.
    4. situated at or toward the bow of a vessel; forward.
  1. Nautical. at or toward the bow.
  2. forward.
  3. Obsolete. before.
  1. the forepart of anything; front.
  2. the fore, Nautical. the foremast.
preposition, conjunction
  1. Also 'fore. Informal. before.
  1. fore and aft, Nautical. in, at, or to both ends of a ship.
  2. to the fore,
    1. into a conspicuous place or position; to or at the front.
    2. at hand; ready; available.
    3. still alive.

Origin of fore1

by construal of fore- as an adj., hence nominalized; fore and aft perhaps as translation of Dutch or Low German; sense “before” (defs 6, 9) perhaps continuation of Middle English, Old English fore in this sense, or as aphetic form of afore
Can be confusedfor fore four


[fawr, fohr]
interjection Golf.
  1. (used as a cry of warning to persons on a course who are in danger of being struck by the ball.)

Origin of fore2

First recorded in 1875–80; probably aphetic variant of before


  1. a prefix meaning “before” (in space, time, condition, etc.), “front,” “superior,” etc.: forehead; forecastle; forecast; foretell; foreman.

Origin of fore-

combining form representing Middle English, Old English for(e)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for fore

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for fore


  1. (usually in combination) located at, in, or towards the frontthe forelegs of a horse
  1. the front part
  2. something located at, in, or towards the front
  3. short for foremast
  4. fore and aft located at or directed towards both ends of a vessela fore-and-aft rig
  5. to the fore
    1. to or into the front or conspicuous position
    2. Scot and Irishalive or activeis your grandfather still to the fore?
  1. at or towards a ship's bow
  2. obsolete before
preposition, conjunction
  1. a less common word for before

Word Origin

Old English; related to Old Saxon, Old High German fora, Gothic faura, Greek para, Sanskrit pura


  1. (in golf) a warning shout made by a player about to make a shot

Word Origin

C19: probably short for before


  1. before in time or rankforesight; forefather; foreman
  2. at or near the front; before in placeforehead; forecourt

Word Origin

Old English, from fore (adv)
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

Word Origin and History for fore


Old English fore (prep.) "before, in front of;" (adv.) "before, previously," common Germanic (cf. Old High German fora, Old Frisian fara, German vor, Gothic faiura, Old Norse fyrr "for"); from PIE *pr-, from root *per- (1) "forward, through" (see per).

As a noun, from 1630s. The warning cry in golf is first recorded 1878, probably a contraction of before.


mid-15c., "forward;" late 15c., "former, earlier;" early 16c., "at the front;" all senses apparently from fore- compounds, which frequently were written as two words in Middle English.


from fore (adv.), which was used as a prefix in Old English and other Germanic languages with a sense of "before in time, rank, position," etc., or designating the front part or earliest time.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with fore


In addition to the idioms beginning with fore

also see:

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.