Definition of for preposition from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



/fər; strong form fɔr/
help For 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.1 used to show who is intended to have or use something or where something is intended to be putThere'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 in order to help someone or somethingWhat 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 country3 concerning someone or somethingThey are anxious for her safety.Fortunately for us, the weather changed.4 as a representative ofI am speaking for everyone in this department.5 employed byShe's been working for IBM for over a year.6 meaningShaking your head for “No” is not universal.7 in support of someone or somethingAre 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 against8 used to show purpose or functiona machine for slicing breadLet'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 used to show a reason or causeThe 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 in order to obtain somethingHe came to me for advice.For more information, call this number.There were over fifty applicants for the job.11 in exchange for somethingCopies are available for two dollars each.I'll swap these two bottles for that one.12 considering what can be expected from someone or somethingThe 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 better, happier, etc. for something better, happier, etc. following somethingYou'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 used to show where someone or something is goingIs this the bus for Chicago?She knew she was destined for a great future.15 used to show a length of timeI'm going away for a few days.That's all the news there is for now.16 used to show that something is arranged or intended to happen at a particular timean appointment for May 12We're invited for 7:30.17 used to show the occasion when something happensI'm warning you for the last time—stop talking!18 used to show a distanceThe road went on for miles and miles.19 used to say how difficult, necessary, pleasant, etc. something is that someone might do or has doneIt'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 used to show who can or should do somethingIt's not for me to say why he left.How to spend the money is for you to decide.IDIOMS

be in for it

(informal) to be going to get into trouble or be punishedWe'd better hurry or we'll be in for in for it

for all

1 despiteFor all its clarity of style, the book is not easy reading.2 used to say that something is not important or is of no interest or value to you/someoneFor 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.for all

there's/that's… for you

(often ironic) used to say that something is a typical example of its kindShe might at least have called to explain. There's gratitude for you.there's for youthat's for you