[ fawr; unstressed fer ]
See synonyms for for on
  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.

  1. suiting the purposes or needs of: medicine for the aged.

  2. in order to obtain, gain, or acquire: a suit for alimony;to work for wages.

  3. (used to express a wish, as of something to be experienced or obtained): O, for a cold drink!

  4. sensitive or responsive to: an eye for beauty.

  5. desirous of: a longing for something;a taste for fancy clothes.

  6. in consideration or payment of; in return for: three for a dollar;to be thanked for one's efforts.

  7. appropriate or adapted to: a subject for speculation;clothes for winter.

  8. with regard or respect to: pressed for time;too warm for April.

  9. during the continuance of: for a long time.

  10. in favor of; on the side of: to be for honest government.

  11. in place of; instead of: a substitute for butter.

  12. in the interest of; on behalf of: to act for a client.

  13. in exchange for; as an offset to: blow for blow;money for goods.

  14. in punishment of: payment for the crime.

  15. in honor of: to give a dinner for a person.

  16. with the purpose of reaching: to start for London.

  17. contributive to: for the advantage of everybody.

  18. in order to save: to flee for one's life.

  19. in order to become: to train recruits for soldiers.

  20. in assignment or attribution to: an appointment for the afternoon;That's for you to decide.

  21. such as to allow of or to require: too many for separate mention.

  22. such as results in: his reason for going.

  23. as affecting the interests or circumstances of: bad for one's health.

  24. in proportion or with reference to: He is tall for his age.

  25. in the character of; as being: to know a thing for a fact.

  26. by reason of; because of: to shout for joy;a city famed for its beauty.

  27. in spite of: He's a decent guy for all that.

  28. to the extent or amount of: to walk for a mile.

  29. (used to introduce a subject in an infinitive phrase): It's time for me to go.

  30. (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.

Idioms about for

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

Origin of for

First recorded before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Old Saxon for; akin to fore1, Latin per “through,” Greek pró “before, ahead”

Words that may be confused with for

Other definitions for for- (2 of 5)


  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.

Origin of for-

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

Other definitions for for. (3 of 5)


  1. foreign.

  2. forester.

  1. forestry.

Other definitions for For. (4 of 5)


  1. Forester.

Other definitions for F.O.R. (5 of 5)


  1. free on rails. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use for in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for for (1 of 3)


/ (fɔː, unstressed ) /

  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

  1. in the direction of: heading for the border

  2. over a span of (time or distance): working for six days; the river ran for six miles

  3. in favour of; in support of: those for the proposal; vote for me

  4. in order to get or achieve: I do it for money; he does it for pleasure; what did you do that for?

  5. appropriate to; designed to meet the needs of; meant to be used in: these kennels are for puppies

  6. in exchange for; at a cost of; to the amount of: I got it for hardly any money

  7. such as explains or results in: his reason for changing his job was not given

  8. in place of: a substitute for the injured player

  9. because of; through: she wept for pure relief

  10. with regard or consideration to the usual characteristics of: he's short for a man; it's cool for this time of year

  11. concerning; as regards: desire for money

  12. as being: we took him for the owner; I know that for a fact

  13. at a specified time: a date for the next evening

  14. to do or partake of: an appointment for supper

  15. in the duty or task of: that's for him to say

  16. to allow of: too big a job for us to handle

  17. despite; notwithstanding: she's a good wife, for all her nagging

  18. in order to preserve, retain, etc: to fight for survival

  19. as a direct equivalent to: word for word; weight for weight

  20. in order to become or enter: to go for a soldier; to train for the priesthood

  21. in recompense for: I paid for it last week; he took the punishment for his crime

  22. for it British informal liable for punishment or blame: you'll be for it if she catches you

  23. 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

Origin of for

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

British Dictionary definitions for for- (2 of 3)


  1. indicating rejection or prohibition: forbear; forbid

  2. indicating falsity or wrongness: forswear

  1. used to give intensive force: forgive; forlorn

Origin of for-

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

British Dictionary definitions for f.o.r. (3 of 3)



/ commerce /

abbreviation for
  1. free on rail

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with for


In addition to the idioms beginning with for

  • for a change
  • for all
  • for all intents and purposes
  • for all one is worth
  • for all that
  • for all the world
  • for a loop
  • for a song
  • for a wonder
  • for better or for worse
  • for certain
  • for chicken feed
  • for crying out loud
  • for days on end
  • for dear life
  • fore and aft
  • for example
  • for fear of
  • for free
  • for fun
  • for God's sake
  • for good
  • for good measure
  • for heaven's sake
  • for keeps
  • for love or money
  • for one
  • for one's money
  • for one's pains
  • for one's part
  • for one's sake
  • for one thing
  • for openers
  • for Pete's sake
  • for real
  • for shame
  • for short
  • for show
  • for starters
  • for sure
  • for that matter
  • for the asking
  • for the best
  • for the birds
  • for the hell of it
  • for the life of one
  • for the love of
  • for the moment
  • for the most part
  • for the present
  • for the record
  • for the sake of
  • for the time being
  • for two cents
  • for what it's worth

also see:

  • 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

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