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See more synonyms for afar on Thesaurus.com
  1. from, at, or to a distance; far away (usually followed by off): He saw the castle afar off.
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  1. from afar, from a long way off: The princess saw him riding toward her from afar.
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Origin of afar

1125–75; Middle English a fer, on ferr; replacing Old English feorran. See a-1 (perhaps also a-2 for the meaning “from”), far


noun, plural A·fars, A·fa·ra [uh-fahr-uh] /əˈfɑr ə/, (especially collectively) A·far for 1.
  1. a member of a nomadic Muslim people living in Eritrea, Djibouti, and northern Ethiopia.
  2. the Northern Cushitic language spoken by the Afars.
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Also called Danakil.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for afar

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The crowd surged about the ticker, and their voices came as from afar.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Some had evidently come from afar, for the fame of the revivalist was widespread.

  • Even if we succeed well we do but approach towards it from afar.

    Albert Durer

    T. Sturge Moore

  • One thing only seemed to make a signal of distress from afar.

    Bride of the Mistletoe

    James Lane Allen

  • But the Chief of the Mountain Division who saw all from afar could say nothing.

    The Hammer of Thor

    Charles Willard Diffin

British Dictionary definitions for afar


  1. at, from, or to a great distance
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  1. a great distance (esp in the phrase from afar)
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Word Origin

C14: a fer, altered from earlier on fer and of fer; see a- ², far
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 afar


contraction of Middle English of feor (late 12c.), on ferr (c.1300), from Old English feor "far" (see far); the a- representing both of and on compounds (which meant the same thing). Spelled afer in 14c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper