Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “for”


preposition (IN RELATION TO)    strong /fɔːr/ US  /fɔːr/ weak /r/ US  //
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 a bit too short for me. The ice-cream was a little bit sweet for me. That jacket looks a bit 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 when the redundancies were announced . How are you doing for money / time (= do you have enough money / time )?Linking and relatingRegarding and concerning for all C2 despite : For all her qualifications , she's still useless at the job .Connecting words which express a contrast Grammar:ForFor is usually a preposition and sometimes a conjunction.Grammar:For: purposeWe use for to talk about a purpose or a reason for something:Grammar:For someoneWe often use for to introduce the person or people receiving something:Grammar:For: durationWe use for with a period of time to refer to duration (how long something lasts):Grammar:For: exchangeWe use for to refer to an exchange:Grammar:For meaning becauseWe sometimes use for as a conjunction meaning ‘because’. We use it in very formal, and often literary, contexts:Grammar:For in multi-word verbsWe often combine for with a verb to form a multi-word verb:Grammar:For + -ingGrammar:For + -ing: functionWe use for + the -ing form of a verb to talk about the function of something or how something is used:Grammar:For + -ing: reasonWe use for + the -ing form of a verb to refer to the reason for something:Grammar:For + -ing or to + infinitive?
(Definition of for preposition (IN RELATION TO) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of for

Definitions of “for” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

tie the knot

to get married

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More