Last modified on 30 January 2015, at 21:54



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Alternative formsEdit


Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English, from Old English foreweard (condition, bargain, agreement, contract, treaty, assurance), equivalent to fore- +‎ ward (ward, keeping). Cognate with Scots forward (covenant, compact), Dutch voorwaarde (condition, terms, proviso, stipulation). More at fore-, ward.


forward (plural forwards)

  1. (dialectal or obsolete) Agreement; covenant.

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English foreward, from Old English foreweard (forward, inclined to the front, fore, early, former), from Proto-Germanic *fura- (fore-), *warþaz (turned), equivalent to fore +‎ -ward. Cognate with Dutch voorwaarts (forward), German vorwärts (forward).


forward (comparative more forward, superlative most forward)

  1. Toward the front or at the front.
    The fire was confined to the forward portion of the store.
    the forward gun in a ship, or the forward ship in a fleet
  2. Without customary restraint or modesty.
    I thought his suggestion that we move in together was rather forward.
    1999: "Would you think it forward of me to kiss you?" asked Tristran. — Neil Gaiman, Stardust, pg. 44 (2001 Perennial paperback edition).
  3. (finance) Expected in the future.
    The stock price is currently 12 times forward earnings.
  4. Ready; prompt; strongly inclined; in a bad sense, overready or hasty.
    • Bible, Gal. ii. 10
      Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
    • Shakespeare
      Nor do we find him forward to be sounded.
  5. Advanced beyond the usual degree; advanced for the season.
    The grass is forward, or forward for the season. We have a forward spring.
    • Shakespeare
      The most forward bud / Is eaten by the canker ere it blow.
Usage notesEdit
  • The superlative forwardmost can be used for the "toward or at the front" sense. There does not appear to be a "forwardmore".


forward (comparative further forward, superlative furthest forward)

  1. Towards the front or from the front.
    The bus driver told everyone standing up to move forward.
    • 1915, Mrs. Belloc Lowndes, The Lodger, chapter I:
      A great bargain also had been the excellent Axminster carpet which covered the floor; as, again, the arm-chair in which Bunting now sat forward, staring into the dull, small fire. In fact, that arm-chair had been an extravagance of Mrs. Bunting. She had wanted her husband to be comfortable after the day's work was done, and she had paid thirty-seven shillings for the chair.
  2. In the usual direction of travel.
    After spending an hour stuck in the mud, we could once again move forward.
  3. Into the future.
    From this day forward, there will be no more brussels sprouts at the cafeteria.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 8, The Celebrity:
      The humor of my proposition appealed more strongly to Miss Trevor than I had looked for, and from that time forward she became her old self again; for, even after she had conquered her love for the Celebrity, the mortification of having been jilted by him remained.
Derived termsEdit


forward (third-person singular simple present forwards, present participle forwarding, simple past and past participle forwarded)

  1. (transitive) To advance, promote.
    • 1941, W Somerset Maugham, Up at the Villa, Vintage 2004, p. 26:
      Mary had a suspicion that this plan had been arranged beforehand, for she knew how the lewd old woman loved to forward love affairs […].
  2. (transitive) To send (a letter, email etc.) to a third party.
    I'll be glad to forward your mail to you while you're gone.
  • (send (something received) to a third party): pass on
Derived termsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


forward (plural forwards)

  1. (rugby) one of the eight players (comprising two props, one hooker, two locks, two flankers and one number eight, collectively known as the pack) whose primary task is to gain and maintain possession of the ball (compare back).
  2. (soccer) A player on a team in football (soccer) in the row nearest to the opposing team's goal, who are therefore principally responsible for scoring goals.
  3. (ice hockey) An umbrella term for a centre or winger in ice hockey.
  4. (basketball) The small forward or power forward position; two frontcourt positions that are taller than guards but shorter than centers.
  5. (nautical) The front part of a vessel.
  6. (Internet) An e-mail message that is forwarded to another recipient or recipients; an electronic chain letter.
    • 2004, Tamara Stevens, What Is Snail Mail?: The Lost Art of Letterwriting (page 27)
      When you receive your new pen-pal's email address, do not automatically put it in your address book and use the email Addy to send 'forwards' to. Not every pen pal likes 'forwards', especially jokes and meaningless emails.
    • 2009, Joli Ballew, Windows 7 for the Over 50s in Simple Steps
      This method attaches the files to a new email, which is fine if you want to create a new email. The only problem with this is that it doesn't work if you'd rather send forwards or replies.
  7. common misconstruction of foreword
See alsoEdit
  • foreword, meaning a preface or introduction