Etymology
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forward (adv.)
Old English forewearde "toward the front, in front; toward the future; at the beginning;" see fore + -ward. Adjectival sense of "early" is from 1520s; that of "presumptuous" is attested from 1560s. The Old English adjective meant "inclined to the front; early; former."
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forward (v.)
1590s, "to help push forward," from forward (adv.). Meaning "to send (a letter, etc.) on to another destination" is from 1757; later of e-mail. Related: Forwarded; forwarding.
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forward (n.)
Old English foreweard, "the fore or front part" of something, "outpost; scout;" see forward (adv.). The position in football so called since 1879.
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forwardness (n.)
1520s, "condition of being in advance," from forward + -ness. Meaning "presumptuousness" is from c. 1600. Old English foreweardness meant "a beginning."
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straightforward (adj.)
1550s, "directly forward, right ahead," from straight (adj.1) + forward (adv.). In reference to language, from 1806. Related: Straightforwardly; straightforwardness.
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henceforward (adv.)
late 14c., from hence + forward (adv.). Related: Henceforwards.
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forwards (adv.)
c. 1400, from forward (adv.) + adverbial genitive -s. British English until mid-20c. preserved the distinction between forward and forwards, the latter expressing "a definite direction viewed in contrast with other directions." In American English, however, forward prevails in all senses since Webster (1832) damned forwards as "a corruption."
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forth (adv.)
Old English forð "forward, onward, farther; continually;" as a preposition, "during," perfective of fore, from Proto-Germanic *furtha- "forward" (source also of Old Frisian, Old Saxon forth "forward, onward," Old Norse forð, Dutch voort, German fort), from extended form of PIE root *per- (1) "forward." The construction in and so forth was in Old English.
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onward (adv.)

"toward the front or a point ahead, forward; forward in time," late 14c., from on + -ward. The form onwards, with adverbial genitive -s, is attested from c. 1600. As an adjective, "moving on or forward," 1670s.

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