• synonyms


[fawrd, fohrd]
  1. a place where a river or other body of water is shallow enough to be crossed by wading.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cross (a river, stream, etc.) at a ford.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for fordable

Historical Examples of fordable

  • I have just been ordered to try where the stream is fordable.

    Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 1 (of 2)

    Charles Lever

  • The river is not fordable except in low water, and then in but few places.

  • Not a ford was fordable within two days' march of either Emory or Frayne.

    Warrior Gap

    Charles King

  • At length the tide was out,—so far, at least, that the stream was fordable.

  • He knew that this bay, even at its neck, was quite shallow and fordable.

British Dictionary definitions for fordable


  1. a shallow area in a river that can be crossed by car, horseback, etc
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  1. (tr) to cross (a river, brook, etc) over a shallow area
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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


  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).
  2. Gerald R (udolph). 1913–2006, US politician; 38th president of the US (1974–77)
  3. 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)
  4. Henry . 1863–1947, US car manufacturer, who pioneered mass production
  5. John . 1586–?1639, English dramatist; author of revenge tragedies such as 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (1633)
  6. 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)
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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 fordable



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).

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper