[fawrd, fohrd]


a place where a river or other body of water is shallow enough to be crossed by wading.

verb (used with object)

to cross (a river, stream, etc.) at a ford.

Origin of ford

before 900; Middle English (noun), Old English; cognate with Old Frisian forda, German Furt; akin to Old Norse fjǫrthr, fare, port1
Related formsford·a·ble, adjectiveun·ford·a·ble, adjectiveun·ford·ed, adjective


[fawrd, fohrd]


Elizabeth BloomerBetty, 1918–2011, U.S. First Lady 1974–77 (wife of Gerald R. Ford).
Ford Mad·ox [mad-uh ks] /ˈmæd əks/, Ford Madox Hueffer, 1873–1939, English novelist, poet, critic, and editor.
Gerald R(udolph, Jr.)Leslie Lynch King, Jr., 1913–2006, U.S. political leader: congressman 1948–73; vice president 1973–74; 38th president of the U.S. 1974–77.
Guy Stanton,1873–1963, U.S. historian, educator, and editor.
Henry,1863–1947, U.S. automobile manufacturer.
John,1586?–c1640, English playwright.
JohnSean O'Feeney, 1895–1973, U.S. film director.
a male given name. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ford

Contemporary Examples of ford

Historical Examples of ford

  • I had little fear of him while Ford and Chapin were at hand, but they could not be near me always.

    Twelve Years a Slave

    Solomon Northup

  • With five thousand infantry and one hundred and eighty cavalry he has advanced to a ford beyond the fork of Chateauguay.

  • There is a broad ditch without a ford in front of us, full twenty feet across!'

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • There was no conversation now, for the fear in every heart was that they would arrive at the ford too late to avail.

    Winning His "W"

    Everett Titsworth Tomlinson

  • By the time the bridge was restored the river had fallen sufficiently to allow the cavalry to ford it.

British Dictionary definitions for ford



a shallow area in a river that can be crossed by car, horseback, etc


(tr) to cross (a river, brook, etc) over a shallow area
Derived Formsfordable, adjective

Word Origin for ford

Old English; related to Old Frisian forda, Old High German furt ford, Latin porta door, portus port 1



Ford Maddox (ˈmædəks) original name Ford Madox Hueffer . 1873–1939, English novelist, editor, and critic; works include The Good Soldier (1915) and the war tetralogy Parade's End (1924–28).
Gerald R (udolph). 1913–2006, US politician; 38th president of the US (1974–77)
Harrison . born 1942, US film actor. His films include Star Wars (1977) and its sequels, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and its sequels, Bladerunner (1982), Clear and Present Danger (1994), and What Lies Beneath (2000)
Henry . 1863–1947, US car manufacturer, who pioneered mass production
John . 1586–?1639, English dramatist; author of revenge tragedies such as 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (1633)
John, real name Sean O'Feeney . 1895–1973, US film director, esp of Westerns such as Stagecoach (1939) and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)
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 ford

Old English ford "shallow place where water can be crossed," from Proto-Germanic *furdhus (cf. Old Frisian forda, Old High German furt, German Furt "ford"), from PIE *prtu- "a going, a passage" (cf. Latin portus "harbor," originally "entrance, passage;" Old Welsh rit, Welsh rhyd "ford;" Old English faran "to go;" see port (n.1)). The line of automobiles is named for U.S. manufacturer Henry Ford (1863-1947).


1610s, from ford (n.). Related: Forded; fording.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper