[ fur-ther ]
/ ˈfɜr ðər /
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See synonyms for: further / furthered / furthering / furthers on Thesaurus.com

adverb, comparative of far, with furthest as superlative.

at or to a greater distance; farther: I'm too tired to go further.
at or to a more advanced point; to a greater extent: Let's not discuss it further.
in addition; moreover: Further, he should be here any minute.

adjective, comparative of far, with furthest as superlative.

verb (used with object)

to help forward (a work, undertaking, cause, etc.); promote; advance; forward: You can always count on him to further his own interests.


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Origin of further

First recorded before 900; Middle English furthere, Old English furthra; cognate with German vordere “more advanced”

words often confused with further

See farther.


fur·ther·er, noun


farther, further (see confusables note at farther)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What’s the difference between further and farther?

Further commonly means to a greater figurative distance, as in Nothing could be further from the truth, or to a greater extent, as in Let’s discuss this further. It can also mean at or to a greater literal distance. This is what farther most commonly means, as in a few steps farther or two miles farther or We’re moving even farther away. 

The traditional distinction is that farther is used for literal distances and that further should be used for figurative distances or metaphorical extents, though in everyday communication, they are often used interchangeably, with further being often used for literal distances and farther being used to mean at a more advanced point or to a great extent.

However, further is used in a few ways that farther is not. Further can be used as a verb meaning to advance something, such as an agenda or cause, as in This will help to further our cause. As an adjective, further can mean more extended, as in further delays, or additional, as in We will hold further meetings. It can also be used in the beginning of a sentence or clause to mean the same thing as furthermore, in addition, or moreover, as in I don’t like ice cream. Further, I don’t like pistachios. So why would you buy me pistachio ice cream? 

You can remember that farther is typically used for literal distance by remembering that it’s the comparative form of the adjective far, with the superlative form being farthest.

Here’s an example of further and farther used correctly in the same sentence.

Example: I have to drive farther than usual for work today—I’ll explain further when I get home.

Want to learn more? Go the distance by reading the full breakdown of the difference between further and farther.

Quiz yourself on further vs. farther!

Should further or farther be used in the following sentence?

They are doing this simply to _____ their agenda.

Example sentences from the Web for further

British Dictionary definitions for further

/ (ˈfɜːðə) /



additional; more
more distant or remote in time or space; farther


(tr) to assist the progress of; promote
See also far, furthest

Derived forms of further

furtherer, noun

Word Origin for further

Old English furthor; related to Old Frisian further, Old Saxon furthor, Old High German furdar; see forth

undefined further

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

Idioms and Phrases with further


see without further ado.

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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