American English

Definition of for preposition from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    , NAmE//fɔr//
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  1. 1For the special uses of for in phrasal verbs, look at the entries for the verbs. For example, fall for someone is in the phrasal verb section at fall. used to show who is intended to have or use something or where something is intended to be put There's a letter for you. It's a book for children. We got a new table for the dining room. This is the place for me (= I like it very much).
  2. 2in order to help someone or something What can I do for you (= how can I help you)? Can you translate this letter for me? I taught her classes for her while she was sick. soldiers fighting for their country
  3. 3concerning someone or something They are anxious for her safety. Fortunately for us, the weather changed.
  4. 4as a representative of I am speaking for everyone in this department.
  5. 5employed by She's been working for IBM for over a year.
  6. 6meaning Shaking your head for “No” is not universal.
  7. 7in support of someone or something Are you for or against the proposal? They voted for independence in a referendum. There's a strong case for postponing the trip. I'm all for people having fun. “What does Naomi think about the move?” “She's all for it.” compare against
  8. 8used to show purpose or function a machine for slicing bread Let's go for a walk. Are you learning English for pleasure or for your work? What did you do that for (= Why did you do that)?
  9. 9used to show a reason or cause The town is famous for its cathedral. She gave me a watch for my birthday. He got an award for bravery. He didn't answer for fear of hurting her.
  10. 10in order to obtain something He came to me for advice. For more information, call this number. There were over fifty applicants for the job.
  11. 11in exchange for something Copies are available for two dollars each. I'll swap these two bottles for that one.
  12. 12considering what can be expected from someone or something The weather was warm for the time of year. She's tall for her age. He's not bad for a beginner. That's too much responsibility for a child.
  13. 13better, happier, etc. for something better, happier, etc. following something You'll feel better for a good night's sleep. He was happier now for having given up the idea of making it on Broadway.
  14. 14used to show where someone or something is going Is this the bus for Chicago? She knew she was destined for a great future.
  15. 15used to show a length of time I'm going away for a few days. That's all the news there is for now.
  16. 16used to show that something is arranged or intended to happen at a particular time an appointment for May 12 We're invited for 7:30.
  17. 17used to show the occasion when something happens I'm warning you for the last time—stop talking!
  18. 18used to show a distance The road went on for miles and miles.
  19. 19used to say how difficult, necessary, pleasant, etc. something is that someone might do or has done It's useless for us to continue. There's no need for you to go. For her to have survived such an ordeal was remarkable. The box is too heavy for me to lift. Is it clear enough for you to read?
  20. 20used to show who can or should do something It's not for me to say why he left. How to spend the money is for you to decide.
  21. Idioms
    be in for it (informal)
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    to be going to get into trouble or be punished We'd better hurry or we'll be in for it.
    1. 1despite For all its clarity of style, the book is not easy reading.
    2. 2used to say that something is not important or is of no interest or value to you/someone For all I know she's still living in Boston. You can do what you like, for all I care. For all the good it's done we might as well not have bothered.
    there's/that's… for you (often ironic)
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    used to say that something is a typical example of its kind She might at least have called to explain. There's gratitude for you.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: for