The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
For \For\, prep. [AS. for, fore; akin to OS. for, fora, furi, D.
voor, OHG. fora, G. vor, OHG. furi, G. f["u]r, Icel. fyrir,
Sw. f["o]r, Dan. for, adv. f["o]r, Goth. fa['u]r, fa['u]ra,
L. pro, Gr. ?, Skr. pra-. [root] 202. Cf. Fore, First,
Foremost, Forth, Pro-.]
In the most general sense, indicating that in consideration
of, in view of, or with reference to, which anything is done
or takes place.
1. Indicating the antecedent cause or occasion of an action;
the motive or inducement accompanying and prompting to an
act or state; the reason of anything; that on account of
which a thing is or is done.
With fiery eyes sparkling for very wrath. --Shak.
How to choose dogs for scent or speed. --Waller.
Now, for so many glorious actions done,
For peace at home, and for the public wealth,
I mean to crown a bowl for C[ae]sar's health.
That which we, for our unworthiness, are afraid to
crave, our prayer is, that God, for the worthiness
of his Son, would, notwithstanding, vouchsafe to
2. Indicating the remoter and indirect object of an act; the
end or final cause with reference to which anything is,
acts, serves, or is done.
The oak for nothing ill,
The osier good for twigs, the poplar for the mill.
It was young counsel for the persons, and violent
counsel for the matters. --Bacon.
Shall I think the worls was made for one,
And men are born for kings, as beasts for men,
Not for protection, but to be devoured? --Dryden.
For he writes not for money, nor for praise.
3. Indicating that in favor of which, or in promoting which,
anything is, or is done; hence, in behalf of; in favor of;
on the side of; -- opposed to against.
We can do nothing against the truth, but for the
truth. --2 Cor. xiii.
It is for the general good of human society, and
consequently of particular persons, to be true and
just; and it is for men's health to be temperate.
Aristotle is for poetical justice. --Dennis.
4. Indicating that toward which the action of anything is
directed, or the point toward which motion is made;
?ntending to go to.
We sailed from Peru for China and Japan. --Bacon.
5. Indicating that on place of or instead of which anything
acts or serves, or that to which a substitute, an
equivalent, a compensation, or the like, is offered or
made; instead of, or place of.
And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give
life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand
for hand, foot for foot. --Ex. xxi. 23,
6. Indicating that in the character of or as being which
anything is regarded or treated; to be, or as being.
We take a falling meteor for a star. --Cowley.
If a man can be fully assured of anything for a
truth, without having examined, what is there that
he may not embrace for tru?? --Locke.
Most of our ingenious young men take up some
cried-up English poet for their model. --Dryden.
But let her go for an ungrateful woman. --Philips.
7. Indicating that instead of which something else controls
in the performing of an action, or that in spite of which
anything is done, occurs, or is; hence, equivalent to
notwithstanding, in spite of; -- generally followed by
all, aught, anything, etc.
The writer will do what she please for all me.
God's desertion shall, for aught he knows, the next
minute supervene. --Dr. H. More.
For anything that legally appears to the contrary,
it may be a contrivance to fright us. --Swift.
8. Indicating the space or time through which an action or
state extends; hence, during; in or through the space or
For many miles about
There 's scarce a bush. --Shak.
Since, hired for life, thy servile muse sing.
To guide the sun's bright chariot for a day.
9. Indicating that in prevention of which, or through fear of
which, anything is done. [Obs.]
We 'll have a bib, for spoiling of thy doublet.
--Beau. & Fl.
For, or As for, so far as concerns; as regards; with
reference to; -- used parenthetically or independently.
See under As.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
For me, my stormy voyage at an end,
I to the port of death securely tend. --Dryden.
For all that, notwithstanding; in spite of.
For all the world, wholly; exactly. "Whose posy was, for
all the world, like cutlers' poetry." --Shak.
For as much as, or Forasmuch as, in consideration that;
seeing that; since.
For by. See Forby, adv.
For ever, eternally; at all times. See Forever.
For me, or For all me, as far as regards me.
For my life, or For the life of me, if my life depended
on it. [Colloq.] --T. Hook.
For that, For the reason that, because; since. [Obs.]
"For that I love your daughter." --Shak.
For thy, or Forthy [AS. for[eth][=y].], for this; on this
account. [Obs.] "Thomalin, have no care for thy."
For to, as sign of infinitive, in order to; to the end of.
[Obs., except as sometimes heard in illiterate speech.] --
"What went ye out for to see?" --Luke vii. 25. See To,
O for, would that I had; may there be granted; --
elliptically expressing desire or prayer. "O for a muse of
Were it not for, or If it were not for, leaving out of
account; but for the presence or action of. "Moral
consideration can no way move the sensible appetite, were
it not for the will." --Sir M. Hale.
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
That \That\, pron., a., conj., & adv. [AS. [eth]aet, neuter nom.
& acc. sing. of the article (originally a demonstrative
pronoun). The nom. masc. s[=e], and the nom. fem. se['o] are
from a different root. AS. [eth]aet is akin to D. dat, G.
das, OHG. daz, Sw. & Dan. det, Icel. [thorn]at (masc. s[=a],
fem. s[=o]), Goth. [thorn]ata (masc. sa, fem. s[=o]), Gr. ?
(masc. ?, fem. ?), Skr. tat (for tad, masc. sas, fem. s[=a]);
cf. L. istud that. [root]184. Cf. The, Their, They,
Them, This, Than, Since.]
1. As a demonstrative pronoun (pl. Those), that usually
points out, or refers to, a person or thing previously
mentioned, or supposed to be understood. That, as a
demonstrative, may precede the noun to which it refers;
as, that which he has said is true; those in the basket
are good apples.
The early fame of Gratian was equal to that of the
most celebrated princes. --Gibbon.
Note: That may refer to an entire sentence or paragraph, and
not merely to a word. It usually follows, but sometimes
precedes, the sentence referred to.
That be far from thee, to do after this manner,
to slay the righteous with the wicked. --Gen.
And when Moses heard that, he was content. --Lev.
I will know your business, Harry, that I will.
Note: That is often used in opposition to this, or by way of
distinction, and in such cases this, like the Latin hic
and French ceci, generally refers to that which is
nearer, and that, like Latin ille and French cela, to
that which is more remote. When they refer to foreign
words or phrases, this generally refers to the latter,
and that to the former.
Two principles in human nature reign;
Self-love, to urge, and Reason, to restrain;
Nor this a good, nor that a bad we call. --Pope.
If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or
that. --James iv.
2. As an adjective, that has the same demonstrative force as
the pronoun, but is followed by a noun.
It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in
the day of judgment, than for that city. --Matt. x.
The woman was made whole from that hour. --Matt. ix.
Note: That was formerly sometimes used with the force of the
article the, especially in the phrases that one, that
other, which were subsequently corrupted into th'tone,
th'tother (now written t'other).
Upon a day out riden knightes two . . .
That one of them came home, that other not.
3. As a relative pronoun, that is equivalent to who or which,
serving to point out, and make definite, a person or thing
spoken of, or alluded to, before, and may be either
singular or plural.
He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself
shame. --Prov. ix. 7.
A judgment that is equal and impartial must incline
to the greater probabilities. --Bp. Wilkins.
Note: If the relative clause simply conveys an additional
idea, and is not properly explanatory or restrictive,
who or which (rarely that) is employed; as, the king
that (or who) rules well is generally popular;
Victoria, who (not that) rules well, enjoys the
confidence of her subjects. Ambiguity may in some cases
be avoided in the use of that (which is restrictive)
instead of who or which, likely to be understood in a
coordinating sense. --Bain.
[1913 Webster] That was formerly used for that which,
as what is now; but such use is now archaic.
We speak that we do know, and testify that we
have seen. --John iii.
That I have done it is thyself to wite [blame].
[1913 Webster] That, as a relative pronoun, cannot be
governed by a preposition preceding it, but may be
governed by one at the end of the sentence which it
The ship that somebody was sailing in. --Sir W.
[1913 Webster] In Old English, that was often used with
the demonstratives he, his, him, etc., and the two
together had the force of a relative pronoun; thus,
that he = who; that his = whose; that him = whom.
I saw to-day a corpse yborn to church
That now on Monday last I saw him wirche [work].
[1913 Webster] Formerly, that was used, where we now
commonly use which, as a relative pronoun with the
demonstrative pronoun that as its antecedent.
That that dieth, let it die; and that that is to
cut off, let it be cut off. --Zech. xi. 9.
4. As a conjunction, that retains much of its force as a
demonstrative pronoun. It is used, specifically:
(a) To introduce a clause employed as the object of the
preceding verb, or as the subject or predicate
nominative of a verb.
She tells them 't is a causeless fantasy,
And childish error, that they are afraid.
I have shewed before, that a mere possibility to
the contrary, can by no means hinder a thing
from being highly credible. --Bp. Wilkins.
(b) To introduce, a reason or cause; -- equivalent to for
that, in that, for the reason that, because.
He does hear me;
And that he does, I weep. --Shak.
(c) To introduce a purpose; -- usually followed by may, or
might, and frequently preceded by so, in order, to the
These things I say, that ye might be saved.
--John v. 34.
To the end that he may prolong his days. --Deut.
(d) To introduce a consequence, result, or effect; --
usually preceded by so or such, sometimes by that.
The birds their notes renew, and bleating herds
Attest their joy, that hill and valley rings.
He gazed so long
That both his eyes were dazzled. --Tennyson.
(e) To introduce a clause denoting time; -- equivalent to
in which time, at which time, when.
So wept Duessa until eventide,
That shining lamps in Jove's high course were
Is not this the day
That Hermia should give answer of her choice?
(f) In an elliptical sentence to introduce a dependent
sentence expressing a wish, or a cause of surprise,
indignation, or the like.
Ha, cousin Silence, that thou hadst seen that
that this knight and I have seen! --Shak.
O God, that right should thus overcome might!
Note: That was formerly added to other conjunctions or to
adverbs to make them emphatic.
To try if that our own be ours or no. --Shak.
[1913 Webster] That is sometimes used to connect a
clause with a preceding conjunction on which it
When he had carried Rome and that we looked
For no less spoil than glory. --Shak.
5. As adverb: To such a degree; so; as, he was that
frightened he could say nothing. [Archaic or in illiteral
All that, everything of that kind; all that sort.
With singing, laughing, ogling, and all that.
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The man's the gowd [gold] for a'that. --Burns.
For that. See under For, prep.
In that. See under In, prep.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
FOR THAT, pleading. It is a maxim in law, regulating alike every form of
action, that the plaintiff shall state his complaint in positive and direct
terms, and not by way of recital. "For that," is a positive allegation; "For
that whereas," in Latin "quod cum," (q.v.) is a recital. Hamm. N. P. 9.