Bosworth Toller's


Dictionary online


  • prefix
Dictionary links
for-, is used in composition in Anglo-Saxon exactly as the English for: it often deteriorates, or gives an opposite sense, or gives strength to the words before which it is placed; in which case it may be compared with Gothic fra-, Dutch and German ver- [different from the Dutch voor, and German vor]. Forbeódan to forbid; fordéman to condemn; forcúþ perverse, corrupt; fordón to destroy, to do for. — Sometimes fór denotes an increase of the signification of the word before which it is placed, and is then generally to be in English very; valde, as fó;r-eáde very easily,
  • Homl. Th. ii. 138, 35
: fór-oft very often,
  • Bd. de nat. rerum
  • ;
  • Wrt. popl. science 11, 8
  • ;
  • Lchdm. iii. 256, 16.
For- and fór-, or fóre- are often confounded, though they are very different in meaning; as forseón [Flem. versien] to overlook, despise; fór- or fóreseón [Flem. veursien] to foresee. — If a word, having for, fór or fóre prefixed, cannot be found under for-, fór- or fóre-, it must be sought under the simple term, and the sense of the preposition added; thus, fór- or fóre-sendan is from sendan to send, and fór-, fóre before, to send before, etc. [On the vowel in for, fore, see remark in the preface.]
Wright's OE grammar
§559; §649;
Full form


  • for-, prefix