Meaning of “forward” in the English Dictionary

"forward" in British English

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uk /ˈfɔː.wəd/ us /ˈfɔːr.wɚd/ also forwards

forward adverb (DIRECTION)

B1 towards the direction that is in front of you:

She leaned forward to whisper something in my ear.

More examples

  • She leaned forward to stroke the dog but quickly drew back when she saw its teeth.
  • She moved her castle forward three squares.
  • Come forward a bit and stand on the line.
  • You will run forward at my command.
  • Traffic moved forward at a crawl.

forward adverb (FUTURE)

B2 towards the future:

I always look forward, not back.
from that day forward

after that point:

From that day forward they never spoke to each other.

More examples

  • We look forward to greater success in the coming year.
  • I'm looking forward to seeing you all next month.
  • From that day forward they never spoke to each other.
  • I'm not looking forward to Christmas this year.
  • I shall look forward to meeting you next week.

forward adverb (PROGRESS)

C1 used in expressions related to progress:

This is a big step forward for democracy.
going forward

used, especially in business, to mean "in the future":

This could become a problem going forward.

More examples

  • No one is sure whether this plan will work, but it's a step forward.
  • Sweden has shown the way forward on energy efficiency.
  • Their research has pushed forward the frontiers of knowledge.
  • After two years in neutral, the economy is finally moving forward again.
  • An additional grant has enabled the team to push forward with research plans.


uk /ˈfɔː.wəd/ us /ˈfɔːr.wɚd/

forwardverb [ T ]

uk /ˈfɔː.wəd/ us /ˈfɔːr.wɚd/

forwardnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈfɔː.wəd/ us /ˈfɔːr.wɚd/

(Definition of “forward” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"forward" in American English

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us /ˈfɔr·wərd/

forward adjective (LEADING)

[ not gradable ] directed toward the front or in the direction you are facing, or directed toward the future:

a forward motion
the forward part of an airplane

forward adjective (TOO CONFIDENT)

too noticeable or confident; rude:

It was awfully forward of him to invite himself over for dinner.

forwardverb [ T ]

us /ˈfɔr·wərd/

forward verb [ T ] (SEND)

to send e-mail to someone else or to a different address after you have received it:

I’ll forward that e-mail to you.

To forward something that you have received means to send it to a different place:

The post office will forward my mail while I’m away.

forwardnoun [ C ]

us /ˈfɔr·wərd/

forward noun [ C ] (SPORTS)

a player whose position is nearer the opposing team’s goal in team sports such as basketball, soccer, and hockey

forwardadverb [ not gradable ]

us /ˈfɔr·wərd/ also forwards, /ˈfɔr·wərdz/

forward adverb [ not gradable ] (LEADING)

toward the front, toward the direction in which you are facing, or toward a future time or better condition:

I leaned forward and glared at her.
The project moved forward slowly.
Set your clocks forward one hour to daylight saving time.
fig. Because of the story in the paper, a witness came forward (= spoke to authorities).

(Definition of “forward” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"forward" in Business English

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forwardverb [ T ]

uk /ˈfɔːwəd/ us

COMMUNICATIONS to send a letter, email, or package that you have received to someone else:

Emails can be sent with a code that prevents them being forwarded or printed out.
forward sth to sb He said he forwarded the information to the mayor and asked for a meeting.

forwardadjective [ before noun ]

uk /ˈfɔːwəd/ us

relating to the future:

forward planning/thinking I'm a great believer in forward planning, and doing as much groundwork as possible.

FINANCE relating to a sale of currencies, goods, etc. at a fixed price which will be given to a buyer at a future date:

This forward sale agreement binds the farmer to deliver a specified quantity of grain at a certain time in the future.
adverb UK also forwards

Analysts had speculated as much as 200 tons of gold had been sold forward.

(Definition of “forward” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)