Webster's Dictionary 1828 - Online Edition

Webster's Dictionary 1828

Americal Dictionary of the English Language

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FOR, preposition [Latin per.; The English, for; to forbid. for corresponds in sense with the Latin pro, as fore does with proe, but pro and proe are probably contracted from prod, proed. The Latin por, in composition, as in porrigo, is probably contracted from porro, Gr. which is the English far. The Gr. are from the same root. The radical sense of for is to go, to pass, to advance, to reach or stretch.]

1. Against; in the place of; as a substitute or equivalent, noting equal value or satisfactory compensation, either in barter and sale, in contract, or in punishment. 'And Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses, and for flocks, and for the cattle of the herds; ' that is, according to the original, he gave them bread against horses like the Gr. Genesis 48:17.

Buy us and our land for bread. Genesis 47:19.

And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. Exodus 21:2.

2. In the place of; instead of; noting substitution of persons, or agency of one in the place of another with equivalent authority. An attorney is empowered to act for his principal. Will you take a letter and deliver it for me at the post office? that is, in my place, or for my benefit.

3. In exchange of; noting one thing taken or given in place of another; as, to quit the profession of law for that of a clergyman.

4. In the place of; instead of; as, to translate a poem line for line.

5. In the character of; noting resemblance; a sense derived from substitution or standing in the place of, like in the Greek.

If a man can be fully assured of any thing for a truth, without having examined, what is there that he may not embrace for truth?

But let her go for an ungrateful woman.

I hear for certain, and do speak the truth.

He quivered with his feet and lay for dead.

6. Towards; with the intention of going to.

We sailed directly for Genoa, and had a fair wind.

So we say, a ship is bound for or to France.

7. In advantage of; for the sake of; on account of; that is, towards, noting use, benefit or purpose.

An ant is a wise creature for itself. Shall I think the world was made for one, and men are born for kings, as beasts for men, not for protection, but to be devoured.

8. Conducive to; beneficial to; in favor of.

It is for the general good of human society, and consequently of particular persons, to be true and just; and it is for men's health to be temperate.

9. Leading or inducing to, as a motive.

There is a natural immutable, and eternal reason for that which we call virtue, and against that which we call vice.

10. Noting arrival, meeting, coming or possession. Wait patiently for an expected good. So in the phrases, looking for staying for

11. Towards the obtaining of; in order to the arrival at or possession of. After all our exertions, we depend on divine aid for success.

12. Against; in opposition to; with a tendency to resist and destroy; as a remedy for the headache or toothache. Alkalies are good for the heartburn. So we say, to provide clothes or stores for winter, or against winter.

13. Against or on account of; in prevention of.

She wrapped him close for catching cold.

And, for the time shall not seem tedious -

This use is nearly obsolete. The sense however is derived from meeting, opposing, as in number 12.

14. Because; on account of; by reason of. He cried out for anguish. I cannot go for want of time. for this cause, I cannot believe the report.

That which we for our unworthiness are afraid to crave, our prayer is, that God for the worthiness of his son would notwithstanding vouchsafe to grant.

Edward and Richard, with fiery eyes sparkling for very wrath, are at our backs.

How to choose dogs for scent or speed.

FOR as much as it is a fundamental law -

15. With respect or regard to; on the part of.

It was young counsel for the persons, and violent counsel for the matters.

Thus much for the beginning and progress of the deluge.

So we say, for me, for myself, or as for me, I have no anxiety, but for you I have apprehensions; all implying towards or on the side of.

16. Through a certain space; during a certain time; as, to travel for three days; to sail for seven weeks; he holds his office for life; he traveled on sand for ten miles together. These senses seem to imply passing, the proper sense of for

17. In quest of; in order to obtain; as, to search for arguments; to recur to antiquity for examples. See number 11.

18. According to; as far as.

Chimists have not been able, for aught is vulgarly known, by fire alone to separate true sulphur from antimony.

19. Noting meeting, coming together, or reception. I am ready for you; that is, I am ready to meet or receive you.

20. Towards; of tendency to; as an inclination for drink.

21. In favor of; on the part or side of; that is, towards or inclined to. One is for a free government; another is for a limited monarchy.

Aristotle is for poetical justice.

22. With a view to obtain; in order to possess. He writes for money, or for fame; that is, towards meeting, or to have in return, as a reward.

23. Towards; with tendency to, or in favor of. It is for his honor to retire from office. It is for our quiet to have few intimate connections.

24. Notwithstanding; against; in opposition to. The fact may be so, for any thing that has yet appeared. The task is great, but for all that, I shall not be deterred from undertaking it. This is a different application of the sense of numbers 1, 2, 3, 4.

The writer will do what she pleases for all me.

25. for the use of; to be used in; that is, towards, noting advantage.

The oak for nothing ill, the osier good for twigs, the poplar for the mill.

26. In recompense of; in return of.

Now, for so many glorious actions done, for peace at home, and for the public wealth, I mean to crown a bowl for Caesar's health. [See Numbers 1:44]

27. In proportion to; or rather, looking towards, regarding. He is tall for one of his years, or tall for his age.

28. By means of.

Moral consideration can no way move the sensible appetite, were it not for the will.

29. By the want of.

The inhabitants suffered severely both for provisions and fuel.

30. for my life or heart, though my life were to be given in exchange, or as the price of purchase. I cannot, for my life, understand the man. Numbers 1:44.

31. for to, denoting purpose. for was anciently placed before the infinitives of verbs, and the use is correct, but now obsolete except in vulgar language. I came for to see you; pour vous voir.

FOR, conjunction

1. The word by which a reason is introduced of something before advanced. 'That ye may be the children of your father who is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good.' In such sentences, for has the sense of because, by reason that, as in No.14; with this difference that in No.14, the word precedes a single noun, and here it precedes a sentence or clause; but the phrase seems to be elliptical, for this cause or reason, which follows, he maketh his sun to rise, etc. In Romans 13:6, we find the word in both its applications, 'For, for this cause ye pay tribute also -; ' the first for referring to the sentence following; the latter to the noun cause.

2. Because; on this account that; properly, for that.

FOR as much, compounded, forasmuch, is equivalent to, in regard to that, in consideration of. Forasmuch as the thirst is intolerable, the patient may be indulged in a little drink.