footlights (n.) Look up footlights at
1836, from foot (of the stage) + light (n.).
footloose (adj.) Look up footloose at
1690s, in literal sense of "free to move the feet, unshackled," from foot (n.) + loose. Figurative sense of "free to act as one pleases" is from 1873.
footman (n.) Look up footman at
c.1300, "foot soldier;" late 14c., "one who goes on foot;" as a personal attendant, originally one who ran before or alongside his master's carriage, announcing its arrival (and keeping it from tipping over). The modern, non-jogging servant sense is from c.1700, though the running footmen still were in service mid-18c. From foot (n.) + man (n.).
footnote (n.) Look up footnote at
1841, from foot (n.) + note (n.). So called from its original position at the foot of a page. Also sometimes formerly Bottom note. As a verb, from 1864. Related: Footnoted; footnoting.
footpad (n.) Look up footpad at
"highway robber," 1680s, from foot (n.) + pad "pathway," from Middle Dutch pad "way, path," from Proto-Germanic *patha- "way, path" (see path).
footpath (n.) Look up footpath at
also foot-path 1520s, from foot (n.) + path.
footprint (n.) Look up footprint at
1550s, from foot (n.) + print. Related: Footprints. Old English had fotspor, fotswæð.
footsie (n.) Look up footsie at
"amorous play with the feet" [OED], 1944, from foot (n.).
footsore (adj.) Look up footsore at
also foot-sore, 1719, from foot (n.) + sore (adj.).
footstep (n.) Look up footstep at
early 13c., "footprint," from foot (n.) + step (n.). Meaning "a tread or fall of the foot" is first attested 1530s. Figurative expression to follow in (someone's) footsteps is from 1540s.
footstool (n.) Look up footstool at
also foot-stool, 1520s, from foot (n.) + stool.
fop (n.) Look up fop at
mid-15c., "foolish person," of unknown origin, perhaps related to fob (v.), German foppen "jeer at, make a fool of." Sense of "dandy" is from 1660s.
foppery (n.) Look up foppery at
1540s, "foolish action," from fop + -ery. Meaning "behavior and manner of a fop" is from 1690s; meaning "foppish attire" is from 1711.
foppish (adj.) Look up foppish at
c.1600, from fop + -ish. Related: Foppishly; fopishness.
for (prep.) Look up for at
Old English for "for, before, on account of," from Proto-Germanic *fura (cognates: Old Saxon furi "before," Old Frisian for, Middle Dutch vore, Dutch voor "for, before;" German für "for;" Danish for "for," før "before;" Gothic faur "for," faura "before"); see fore (adv.).

Use of for and fore gradually was differentiated in Middle English. Its use alone as a conjunction (not found before 12c.) probably is a shortening of common Old English phrases such as for þon þy "therefore," literally "for the (reason) that."
for- Look up for- at
prefix usually meaning "away, opposite, completely," from Old English for-, indicating loss or destruction, or completion, also used as an intensive or pejorative element, which is related to Old Norse for-, Dutch ver-, Old High German fir-, German ver-; from PIE *pr-, from root *per- (1) "forward, through" (see per). Probably originally in Germanic with a sense of "forward, forth," but with complex sense developments in the various languages. Ultimately from the same root as fore (adv.).
forage (n.) Look up forage at
early 14c. (late 13c. as Anglo-Latin foragium), from Old French forrage "fodder, foraging, pillaging, looting" (12c., Modern French fourrage), from fuerre "hay, straw, forage, fodder" (Modern French feurre) "fodder, straw," from Frankish *fodr "food" or a similar Germanic source (compare Old High German fuotar, Old English fodor); see fodder. Military forage cap attested by 1827.
forage (v.) Look up forage at
early 15c., from Middle French fourrager, from fourage (Old French forrage; see forage (n.)). Related: Foraged; foraging.
forager (n.) Look up forager at
late 14c., from Old French foragier, from forrage (see forage (n.)).
foramen (n.) Look up foramen at
plural foramina, 1670s, from Latin foramen "hole, opening, aperture, orifice," from forare "to pierce" (see bore (v.)).
Foraminifera Look up Foraminifera at
1835, Modern Latin, neuter plural of foraminifer "bearing holes," from Latin foramen "hole, opening, orifice" (see foramen) + -fer "bearing," from ferre "to bear" (see infer). So called because the shells usually are perforated by pores. Related: Foraminiferous.
foray (n.) Look up foray at
late 14c., Scottish, from the verb (14c.), perhaps a back-formation of Middle English forreyer "raider, forager" (mid-14c.), from Old French forrier, from forrer "to forage" (see forage (n.)). Disused by 18c.; revived by Scott.
forb (n.) Look up forb at
1924, from Greek phorbe "fodder, forage."
forbade Look up forbade at
past tense of forbid.
forbear (v.) Look up forbear at
"to abstain," Old English forberan "bear up against, control one's feelings, endure," from for- + beran "to bear" (see bear (v.)). Related: Forbearer; forbearing; forbore.
forbear (n.) Look up forbear at
"ancestor," late 15c., from fore "before" + be-er "one who exists;" agent noun from be.
forbearance (n.) Look up forbearance at
1570s, originally legal, in reference to enforcement of debt obligations, from forbear (v.) + -ance. General sense of "refraining from" is from 1590s.
Forbes Look up Forbes at
U.S. financial publication, founded 1917 by Scottish-born Wall Street journalist B.C. Forbes (1880-1954) and publisher Walter Drey.
forbid (v.) Look up forbid at
Old English forbeodan "forbid, prohibit," from for- "against" + beodan "to command" (see bid). Common Germanic compound (cognates: Dutch verbieden, Old High German farbiotan, German verbieten, Old Norse fyrirbjoða, Gothic faurbiudan "to forbid"). Related: Forbade; forbidden.
forbidding (adj.) Look up forbidding at
"uninviting," 1712, present participle adjective from forbid. Related: Forbiddingly; forbiddingness.
forbore Look up forbore at
past tense of forbear (v.).
force (n.) Look up force at
c.1300, "physical strength," from Old French force (12c.) "force, strength, courage, fortitude; violence, power, compulsion," from Vulgar Latin *fortia (source also of Spanish fuerza, Italian forza), noun use of neuter plural of Latin fortis "strong" (see fort). Meaning "body of armed men, army" first recorded late 14c. (also in Old French). Physics sense is from 1660s; force field attested by 1920.
force (v.) Look up force at
c.1300, from Old French forcier "conquer by violence," from force (see force (n.)). Its earliest sense in English was "to ravish" (a woman); sense of "to compel, oblige" to do something is from c.1400. Related: Forced; forcing.
force majeure Look up force majeure at
1883, French, literally "superior strength."
force-feed (v.) Look up force-feed at
by 1909, from force (n.) + feed (v.). Related: Force-fed; force-feeding.
forced (adj.) Look up forced at
"not spontaneous or voluntary," 1570s, past participle adjective from force (v.). The flier's forced landing attested by 1917.
forceful (adj.) Look up forceful at
1570s, from force (n.) + -ful. Related: Forcefully; forcefulness.
forcemeat (n.) Look up forcemeat at
also force-meat, "mincemeat," 1680s, from force "to stuff," a variant of farce (q.v.) + meat.
forceps (n.) Look up forceps at
1560s, from Latin forceps "pair of tongs, pincers," compound of formus "hot" (see warm (adj.)) + root of capere "to hold, take" (see capable). Originally a smith's implement. The classical plural is forcipes.
forcible (adj.) Look up forcible at
early 15c., from Middle French forcible, from Old French forcier (see force (n.)). Related: Forcibly.
ford (v.) Look up ford at
1610s, from ford (n.). Related: Forded; fording.
ford (n.) Look up ford at
Old English ford "shallow place where water can be crossed," from Proto-Germanic *furdhus (cognates: Old Frisian forda, Old High German furt, German Furt "ford"), from PIE *prtu- "a going, a passage" (cognates: Latin portus "harbor," originally "entrance, passage;" Old Welsh rit, Welsh rhyd "ford;" Old English faran "to go;" see port (n.1)). The line of automobiles is named for U.S. manufacturer Henry Ford (1863-1947).
fore (adv.) Look up fore at
Old English fore (prep.) "before, in front of;" (adv.) "before, previously," common Germanic (cognates: Old High German fora, Old Frisian fara, German vor, Gothic faiura, Old Norse fyrr "for"); from PIE *pr-, from root *per- (1) "forward, through" (see per).

As a noun, from 1630s. The warning cry in golf is first recorded 1878, probably a contraction of before.
fore (adj.) Look up fore at
mid-15c., "forward;" late 15c., "former, earlier;" early 16c., "at the front;" all senses apparently from fore- compounds, which frequently were written as two words in Middle English.
fore- Look up fore- at
from fore (adv.), which was used as a prefix in Old English and other Germanic languages with a sense of "before in time, rank, position," etc., or designating the front part or earliest time.
forearm (n.) Look up forearm at
1741, from fore- + arm (n.1).
forearm (v.) Look up forearm at
1590s, from fore- + arm (v.) "take up weapons." Related: Forearmed; forearming.
forebear Look up forebear at
see forbear. Related: Forebearance; forebears.
forebode (v.) Look up forebode at
"feel a secret premonition," c.1600, from fore- + bode. Related: Foreboded; foreboding. Old English forebodian meant "to announce, declare."
foreboding (n.) Look up foreboding at
late 14c., "a predilection, portent, omen," from fore- + verbal noun from bode. Meaning "sense of something bad about to happen" is from c.1600. Old English forebodung meant "prophecy."