for

Definitions

General English

  • preposition showing the purpose or use of something
  • preposition showing the occasion on which or the reason why something is given
  • preposition showing the person who receives something
  • preposition showing how long something takes
  • preposition showing distance
  • preposition showing where someone or something is going
  • preposition in the place of someone

Cricket

  • preposition used when giving a team’s total score to show the number of wickets that have fallen when the score is at the stated number. In England, South Africa, the West Indies, and the Indian subcontinent, the convention is that the score precedes the word ‘for’: eg England were struggling at 116 for six (or for the loss of six wickets). In Australia and New Zealand, the numbers are reversed, with the first figure showing the number of wickets that have fallen, e.g. Australia declared on five for 342.
  • preposition used when giving a bowler’s analysis, to show the number of runs that have been scored off his bowling in relation to the number of wickets taken; the first digit indicates wickets, and the second runs conceded
    Citation ‘The first sensational performance of Laker’s first-class career came in the Test trial at Bradford in 1950, when he took 8 for 2’ (Frith 1984)

Military

  • noun
    (written as -FOR)
    a suffix meaning FORCE, used in the titles of contingents engaged in international peacekeeping operations

Origin & History of “for”

For comes from a prehistoric Germanic *fora, which denoted ‘before’ – both ‘before’ in time and ‘in front’ in place. For itself meant ‘before’ in the Old English period, and the same notion is preserved in related forms such as first, fore, foremost, former, from, and of course before. Germanic *fora itself goes back to Indo-European *pr, source also of Latin prae ‘before’, pro ‘for’, and primus ‘first’ (whence English premier, primary, etc), Greek pará ‘by, past’, pró ‘before’, and protos ‘first’ (whence English protocol, prototype, etc). and English forth and further.
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