Origin of forwards

First recorded in 1350–1400; forward + -s1
Can be confusedforeword forward forwards froward (see synonym study at forward) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for forwards

Contemporary Examples of forwards

Historical Examples of forwards

  • Up and down, backwards and forwards, inside and out, and all hands around.

    A Woman Tenderfoot

    Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson

  • There are three ways of doing this, forwards, backwards, and sideways.


    John Weaver

  • To come backwards and forwards here, in the same way, for ever?'

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • He knew them, he would have informed you, backwards and forwards.

    The Innocent Adventuress

    Mary Hastings Bradley

  • Since 1912, our forwards have steadily deteriorated as our backs have got better and better.

British Dictionary definitions for forwards




towards or at a place ahead or in advance, esp in space but also in time
towards the front
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 forwards

Middle English, from forward + adverbial genitive -s. British English until mid-20c. preserved the distinction between forward and forwards, the latter expressing "a definite direction viewed in contrast with other directions." In American English, however, forward prevails in all senses since Webster (1832) damned forwards as "a corruption."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper