View synonyms for for



[ fawr; unstressed fer ]


  1. with the object or purpose of:

    to run for exercise.

  2. intended to belong to, or be used in connection with:

    equipment for the army;

    a closet for dishes.

  3. suiting the purposes or needs of:

    medicine for the aged.

  4. in order to obtain, gain, or acquire:

    a suit for alimony;

    to work for wages.

  5. (used to express a wish, as of something to be experienced or obtained):

    O, for a cold drink!

  6. sensitive or responsive to:

    an eye for beauty.

  7. desirous of:

    a longing for something;

    a taste for fancy clothes.

  8. in consideration or payment of; in return for:

    three for a dollar;

    to be thanked for one's efforts.

  9. appropriate or adapted to:

    a subject for speculation;

    clothes for winter.

  10. with regard or respect to:

    pressed for time;

    too warm for April.

  11. during the continuance of:

    for a long time.

  12. in favor of; on the side of:

    to be for honest government.

  13. in place of; instead of:

    a substitute for butter.

  14. in the interest of; on behalf of:

    to act for a client.

  15. in exchange for; as an offset to:

    blow for blow;

    money for goods.

  16. in punishment of:

    payment for the crime.

  17. in honor of:

    to give a dinner for a person.

  18. with the purpose of reaching:

    to start for London.

  19. contributive to:

    for the advantage of everybody.

  20. in order to save:

    to flee for one's life.

  21. in order to become:

    to train recruits for soldiers.

  22. in assignment or attribution to:

    an appointment for the afternoon;

    That's for you to decide.

  23. such as to allow of or to require:

    too many for separate mention.

  24. such as results in:

    his reason for going.

  25. as affecting the interests or circumstances of:

    bad for one's health.

  26. in proportion or with reference to:

    He is tall for his age.

  27. in the character of; as being:

    to know a thing for a fact.

  28. by reason of; because of:

    to shout for joy;

    a city famed for its beauty.

  29. in spite of:

    He's a decent guy for all that.

  30. to the extent or amount of:

    to walk for a mile.

  31. (used to introduce a subject in an infinitive phrase):

    It's time for me to go.

  32. (used to indicate the number of successes out of a specified number of attempts):

    The batter was 2 for 4 in the game.


  1. seeing that; since.


  1. 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.



abbreviation for

  1. foreign.
  2. forester.
  3. forestry.



abbreviation for

  1. Forester.


or f.o.r.

abbreviation for

  1. free on rails.




  1. indicating rejection or prohibition



  2. indicating falsity or wrongness


  3. used to give intensive force





/ fə; fɔː /


  1. intended to reach; directed or belonging to

    there's a phone call for you

  2. to the advantage of

    I only did it for you

  3. in the direction of

    heading for the border

  4. over a span of (time or distance)

    working for six days

    the river ran for six miles

  5. in favour of; in support of

    those for the proposal

    vote for me

  6. in order to get or achieve

    he does it for pleasure

    I do it for money

    what did you do that for?

  7. appropriate to; designed to meet the needs of; meant to be used in

    these kennels are for puppies

  8. in exchange for; at a cost of; to the amount of

    I got it for hardly any money

  9. such as explains or results in

    his reason for changing his job was not given

  10. in place of

    a substitute for the injured player

  11. because of; through

    she wept for pure relief

  12. with regard or consideration to the usual characteristics of

    it's cool for this time of year

    he's short for a man

  13. concerning; as regards

    desire for money

  14. as being

    I know that for a fact

    we took him for the owner

  15. at a specified time

    a date for the next evening

  16. to do or partake of

    an appointment for supper

  17. in the duty or task of

    that's for him to say

  18. to allow of

    too big a job for us to handle

  19. despite; notwithstanding

    she's a good wife, for all her nagging

  20. in order to preserve, retain, etc

    to fight for survival

  21. as a direct equivalent to

    word for word

    weight for weight

  22. in order to become or enter

    to go for a soldier

    to train for the priesthood

  23. in recompense for

    he took the punishment for his crime

    I paid for it last week

  24. for it informal.
    liable for punishment or blame

    you'll be for it if she catches you

  25. nothing for it
    no choice; no other course


  1. coordinating for the following reason; because; seeing that

    I couldn't stay, for the area was violent



abbreviation for

  1. free on rail

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Word History and Origins

Origin of for1

First recorded before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Old Saxon for; akin to fore 1, Latin per “through,” Greek pró “before, ahead”

Origin of for2

Middle English, Old English; compare German ver-, Greek peri-, Latin per-

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Word History and Origins

Origin of for1

Old English for- ; related to German ver- , Latin per- , Greek peri-

Origin of for2

Old English; related to Old Norse fyr for, Old High German fora before, Latin per through, prō before, Greek pro before, in front

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. for it, British. in ( def 33 ).

More idioms and phrases containing for

  • all for
  • as for
  • but for
  • do for
  • done for
  • except for
  • go for
  • going for
  • good for
  • in for
  • out for
  • uncalled for
  • what for

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Example Sentences

Sands was involved in a scandalous-for-the-time romance with the carpenter and there were rumors she was pregnant with his child.

There was no mistaking this for the gaudiness and gilt of made-for-TV awards shows.

Given the potential for a cyber tit-for-tat to escalate, Obama has even more incentive to find a diplomatic solution.

Twenty-five more for-profits are on well on their way to doing the same thing.

Will Christian pharmacists, county clerks, florists, and for-profit wedding chapels really withdraw from society, as you describe?

The result of this stock-taking shows that eleven volumes were unaccounted-for, a list of which is appended.

At this stock-taking the number unaccounted-for is twenty-two, several of which are quite recent accessions to the Library.

Edna's desire to see Mademoiselle Reisz had increased tenfold since these unlooked-for obstacles had arisen to thwart it.

But no other instance of for-tened is known, nor yet of crece as short for increes (increase).

At length the long looked-for copy arrived, he saw it, composed himself and died, 1543.


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When To Use

What are other ways to say for?

The conjunction for means “seeing that” or “since.” Do you know when to use for, since, because, as, and inasmuch as? Learn more on

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




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