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for-
Share:
pref.
Completely; excessively, especially with destructive or detrimental effect: forworn.

[Middle English, from Old English; see per1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
FOR
Share:
abbr.
free on rail

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
for (fôr; fər when unstressed)
Share:
prep.
1.
a. Used to indicate the object, aim, or purpose of an action or activity: trained for the ministry; put the house up for sale; plans to run for senator.
b. Used to indicate a destination: headed off for town.
2. Used to indicate the object of a desire, intention, or perception: had a nose for news; eager for success.
3.
a. Used to indicate the recipient or beneficiary of an action: prepared lunch for us.
b. On behalf of: spoke for all the members.
c. In favor of: Were they for or against the proposal?
d. In place of: a substitute for eggs.
4.
a. Used to indicate equivalence or equality: paid ten dollars for a ticket; repeated the conversation word for word.
b. Used to indicate correlation or correspondence: took two steps back for every step forward.
5.
a. Used to indicate amount, extent, or duration: a bill for five dollars; walked for miles; stood in line for an hour.
b. Used to indicate a specific time: had an appointment for two o'clock.
c. Used to indicate a number of attempts: shot three for four from the foul line.
6.
a. As being: take for granted; mistook me for the librarian.
b. Used to indicate an actual or implied listing or choosing: For one thing, we can't afford it.
7. As a result of; because of: jumped for joy.
8. Used to indicate appropriateness or suitability: It will be for the judge to decide.
9. Notwithstanding; despite: For all the problems, it was a valuable experience.
10.
a. As regards; concerning: a stickler for neatness.
b. Considering the nature or usual character of: was spry for his advanced age.
c. In honor of: named for her grandmother.
conj.
Because; since.
adv.
Because of this; for this reason.

[Middle English, from Old English; see per1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

Usage Note: For has been used as a conjunction meaning "because, since" for over 1,000 years. It is familiar in many famous quotations, from the New Testament's beatitudes (Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth, Matthew 5:05) to Shakespeare's sonnets (For thy sweet love rememb'red such wealth brings / That then I scorn to change my state with kings). Today this use of for is rare in speech and informal writing, and it often lends a literary tone or note of formality. · Like the word so, for can be viewed as either a subordinating or a coordinating conjunction, and it has been treated variously as such. It has the meaning of a subordinating conjunction, since it clearly subordinates the clause that follows it to the previous clause or sentence. But like a coordinating conjunction, for has a fixed position in the sentence, and its clause cannot be transposed to precede the superordinate clause containing the main idea. It is ungrammatical in present-day English to say For they shall inherit the earth: blessed are the meek. Perhaps because of this ambiguity in function, for is treated variously with regard to punctuation. Sometimes it begins a dependent clause and follows a comma, and sometimes it begins an independent clause (as if it were a conjunctive adverb like moreover) and follows a semicolon or period (when it is capitalized as the first word of a new sentence). All treatments are acceptable in standard usage. The difference is really one of emphasis: starting a new sentence with for tends to call more attention to the thought that it introduces.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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