Definition of “for” - English Dictionary

“for” in British English

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forpreposition

uk strong /fɔːr/ weak /r/ us /fɔːr/ //

for preposition (INTENDED FOR)

A1 intended to be given to:

There's a phone message for you.
I'd better buy something for the new baby.
There's a prize for the fastest three runners in each category.

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for preposition (PURPOSE)

A2 having the purpose of:

There's a sign there saying "boats for hire".
This pool is for the use of hotel guests only.
I'm sorry, the books are not for sale.
They've invited us for dinner on Saturday.
Everyone in the office is contributing money for his leaving present.
I need some money for tonight.
Which vitamins should you take for (= in order to cure) skin problems?
Put those clothes in a pile for washing (= so that they can be washed).

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for preposition (BECAUSE OF)

A2 because of or as a result of something:

I'm feeling all the better for my holiday.
"How are you?" "Fine, and all the better for seeing you!"
She did 15 years in prison for murder.
I don't eat meat for various reasons.
I couldn't see for the tears in my eyes.
The things you do for love!
He's widely disliked in the company for his arrogance.
She couldn't talk for coughing (= she was coughing too much to talk).
He's best remembered for his novels.
I didn't say anything for fear of (= because I was frightened of) offending him.
if it wasn't/weren't for also if it hadn't been for

without:

If it wasn't for the life jacket, I would have drowned.

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for preposition (TIME/DISTANCE)

A1 used to show an amount of time or distance:

We walked for miles.
She's out of the office for a few days next week.
I'm just going to lie down for an hour or so.
I haven't played tennis for years.

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for preposition (OCCASION)

A2 on the occasion of or at the time of:

What did you buy him for Christmas?
I'd like an appointment with the doctor for some time this week.
We're having a party for Jim's 60th birthday.
I've booked a table at the restaurant for nine o'clock.

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for preposition (COMPARING)

C1 used for comparing one thing with others of the same type:

She's very mature for her age.
For every two people in favour of the law there are three against.
The winter has been unusually cold for Florida.
For a man of his wealth he's not exactly generous.

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for preposition (SUPPORT)

B2 in support of or in agreement with:

I voted for the Greens at the last election.
Those voting for the motion, 96, and those voting against, 54.
Most of the Republicans voted for the measure.
So let's hear some applause for these talented young performers.
Who's for (= who wants to play) tennis?
be all for sth

to approve of or support something very much:

I've got nothing against change - I'm all for it.
I'm all for gender equality, but I think the most qualified person should get the job.

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for preposition (IN RELATION TO)

in relation to someone or something:

Her feelings for him had changed.
He felt nothing but contempt for her.
I've got a lot of admiration for people who do that sort of work.
He's quite good-looking but he's too short for me.
The ice-cream was a little bit sweet for me.
That jacket looks a little big for you.
Jackie's already left and, as for me, I'm going at the end of the month.
Luckily for me (= I was lucky), I already had another job.
How are you doing for money/time (= do you have enough money/time)?
for all

C2 despite:

For all her qualifications, she's still useless at the job.

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for preposition (PAYMENT)

A2 (getting) in exchange:

How much did you pay for your glasses?
I've sponsored her £1 for every mile that she runs.
She sold the house for a lot of money.
The mechanic said he'd repair my car for £300.

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for preposition (REPRESENTING)

B1 being employed by or representing a company, country, etc.:

She works for a charity.
He swam for the United States in the 2000 Olympics.

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for preposition (TOWARDS)

A2 towards; in the direction of:

They looked as if they were heading for the train station.
Just follow signs for the museum.
This time tomorrow we'll be setting off for the States.
It says this train is for (= going to stop at) Birmingham and Coventry only.

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for preposition (TO GET)

A2 in order to get or achieve:

I had to run for the bus.
Did you send off for details of the competition?
I've applied for a job with another computer company.

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forconjunction

uk strong /fɔːr/ /r/ us /fɔːr/ // old-fashioned or literary

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

“for” in American English

See all translations

forpreposition

us /fɔr, fər/

for preposition (TO BE GIVEN)

intended to be given to:

There’s a phone message for you on your desk.
There will be a prize for the best costume at the party.

for preposition (PURPOSE)

having the purpose of:

What do you imagine he uses this old thing for?
Why don’t you take an aspirin for your headache (= to stop it)?

for preposition (BECAUSE OF)

because of; as a result of (doing something):

She was stopped for speeding.
The things we do for love!
For some reason, she isn’t interested in going out at all tonight.
Certain Chicago restaurants are famous for their deep-dish pizza.

for preposition (INSTEAD OF)

instead of; to help:

Let me carry those groceries to the car for you.

for preposition (TIME/DISTANCE)

showing amount of time or distance:

We drove for miles.
She’s out of town for a few days on business.

for preposition (OCCASION)

on the occasion of or at the time of:

What are you getting Mom and Dad for their anniversary?
We’re planning a party for Stephen’s birthday.
The neighbors invited us for dinner (= to eat with them).
What’s for lunch (= what will we eat)?

for preposition (CONSIDERING)

considering (something or someone with reference to things or people as they usually are):

This winter has been mild for Canada.
I think Kristy is very mature for her age.

for preposition (SUPPORT)

in support of or agreement with:

I voted for her in the last election.
We thought about moving, and I was all for it, but my wife didn’t want to.

for preposition (IN RELATION TO)

in relation to (someone or something):

Her feelings for him were obvious.
That jacket is a bit big for you.

for preposition (PAYMENT)

(getting) in exchange:

If I take the car in, it’ll be $45 for a tuneup.

for preposition (REPRESENTING)

representing (an organization or country):

Michael works for a Washington-based foundation.
She carried the flag for the US at the opening ceremonies.

for preposition (TOWARD)

toward; in the direction of:

Just follow signs for the airport once you’re on the highway.

for preposition (MEANING)

meaning; representing:

What’s another word for "happy"?

for preposition (TO GET)

in order to get or have:

I had to wait half an hour for the bus.
Call the phone number below for more information.

for preposition (DUTY)

the duty or responsibility of:

It’s not for her to say whether I should cut my hair.

forconjunction

us /fɔr, fər/

for conjunction (BECAUSE)

because; as:

She told the truth, for she had nothing to lose.

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