- prep. & conj.
1 in the interest or to the benefit of; intended to go to (these flowers are for you; wish to see it for myself; did it all for my country; silly for you to go).
2 in defence, support, or favour of (fight for one's rights).
3 suitable or appropriate to (a dance for beginners; not for me to say).
4 in respect of or with reference to; regarding; so far as concerns (usual for ties to be worn; don't care for him at all; ready for bed; MP for Lincoln).
5 representing or in place of (here for my uncle).
6 in exchange against (swopped it for a bigger one).
7 a as the price of (give me pound5 for it). b at the price of (bought it for pound5). c to the amount of (a bill for pound100; all out for 45).
8 as the penalty of (fined them heavily for it).
9 in requital of (that's for upsetting my sister).
10 as a reward for (here's pound5 for your trouble).
11 a with a view to; in the hope or quest of; in order to get (go for a walk; run for a doctor; did it for the money). b on account of (could not speak for laughing).
12 corresponding to (word for word).
13 to reach; in the direction of; towards (left for Rome; ran for the end of the road).
14 conducive or conducively to; in order to achieve (take the pills for a sound night's sleep).
15 so as to start promptly at (the meeting is at seven-thirty for eight).
16 through or over (a distance or period); during (walked for miles; sang for two hours).
17 in the character of; as being (for the last time; know it for a lie; I for one refuse).
18 because of; on account of (could not see for tears).
19 in spite of; notwithstanding (for all we know; for all your fine words).
20 considering or making due allowance in respect of (good for a beginner).
21 in order to be (gone for a soldier).
—conj. because, since, seeing that.
Phrases and idioms:
be for it Brit. colloq. be in imminent danger of punishment or other trouble. for ever see EVER; (cf. FOREVER). o (or oh) for I wish I had.
Etymology: OE, prob. a reduction of Gmc fora (unrecorded) BEFORE (of place and time)
Useful english dictionary. 2012.