[fahr-th er]
See more synonyms for farther on Thesaurus.com
adverb, compar. of far with farthest as superl.
  1. at or to a greater distance: He went farther down the road.
  2. at or to a more advanced point: They are going no farther in their studies.
  3. at or to a greater degree or extent: The application of the law was extended farther.
adjective, compar. of far with farthest as superl.
  1. more distant or remote than something or some place nearer: the farther side of the mountain.
  2. extending or tending to a greater distance: He made a still farther trip.
  3. Nonstandard. further(defs 5, 6).

Origin of farther

1300–50; Middle English ferther; orig. variant of further
Can be confusedfarther 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.


  1. at or to a great distance; a long way off; at or to a remote point: We sailed far ahead of the fleet.
  2. at or to a remote or advanced time: We talked far into the night.
  3. at or to a great, advanced, or definite point of progress, or degree: Having come this far, we might as well continue.
  4. much or many: I need far more time. We gained far more advantages.
adjective, far·ther or fur·ther, far·thest or fur·thest.
  1. being at a great distance; remote in time or place: a far country; the far future.
  2. extending to a great distance: the far frontiers of empire.
  3. more distant of the two: the far side.
  1. a far cry (from). cry(def 27).
  2. as far as. as1(def 18).
  3. 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.
  4. far and away, by far; undoubtedly: She is far and away the smartest one in the class.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. few and far between. few(def 5).
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. on the far side of. side1(def 26).
  12. 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.
  13. so far so good, succeeding or managing adequately to this point; doing well thus far: The work is difficult, but so far so good.
  14. the far side. side1(def 29).
  15. 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.

Origin of far

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 formsfar·ness, nouno·ver·far, adverb, adjective
Can be confusedfair far fare

Usage note

See as1, farther.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for farther

further, beyond, yonder, longer, yon

Examples from the Web for farther

Contemporary Examples of farther

Historical Examples of farther

British Dictionary definitions for farther


  1. to or at a greater distance in space or time
  2. in addition
  1. more distant or remote in space or time
  2. additional

Word Origin for farther

C13: see far, further


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


adverb farther, further, farthest or furthest
  1. at, to, or from a great distance
  2. at or to a remote timefar in the future
  3. to a considerable degree; very mucha far better plan
  4. as far as
    1. to the degree or extent that
    2. to the distance or place of
    3. informalwith reference to; as for
  5. by far by a considerable margin
  6. far and away by a very great margin
  7. far and wide over great distances; everywhere
  8. far be it from me I would not presume; on no accountfar be it from me to tell you what to do
  9. far gone
    1. in an advanced state of deterioration
    2. informalextremely drunk
  10. go far
    1. to be successful; achieve muchyour son will go far
    2. to be sufficient or last longthe wine didn't go far
  11. go too far to exceed reasonable limits
  12. how far? to what extent, distance, or degree?
  13. in so far as to the degree or extent that
  14. so far
    1. up to the present moment
    2. up to a certain point, extent, degree, etc
  15. so far, so good an expression of satisfaction with progress made
adjective (prenominal)
  1. remote in space or timea far country; in the far past
  2. extending a great distance; long
  3. more distantthe far end of the room
  4. a far cry
    1. a long way
    2. something very different
  5. far from in a degree, state, etc, remote fromhe is far from happy
Derived Formsfarness, noun

Word Origin for far

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

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

Idioms and Phrases with farther


see can't see beyond (farther than) the end of one's nose.


In addition to the idioms beginning with far

  • far afield
  • far and away
  • far and near
  • far and wide
  • far be it from one to
  • far cry from, a
  • far from
  • far gone
  • far out

also see:

  • as far as
  • as far as possible
  • as far as that goes
  • by far
  • carry too far
  • few and far between
  • go far
  • go so far as to
  • go too far
  • so far
  • so far so good
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.