Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Latin per through, prae before, pro before, for, ahead, Greek pro, Old English faran to go — more at fare
Date: before 12th century
a. — used as a function word to indicate purpose <a grant for studying medicine> b. — used as a function word to indicate an intended goal <left for home> <acted for the best> c. — used as a function word to indicate the object or recipient of a perception, desire, or activity <now for a good rest> <run for your life> <an eye for a bargain> 2. a. as being or constituting <taken for a fool> <eggs for breakfast> b. — used as a function word to indicate an actual or implied enumeration or selection <for one thing, the price is too high> 3. because of <can't sleep for the heat> 4. — used as a function word to indicate suitability or fitness <it is not for you to choose> <ready for action> 5. a. in place of <go to the store for me> b. (1) on behalf of ; representing <speaks for the court> (2) in favor of <all for the plan> 6. in spite of — usually used with all <for all his large size, he moves gracefully> 7. with respect to ; concerning <a stickler for detail> <heavy for its size> 8. a. — used as a function word to indicate equivalence in exchange <$10 for a hat>, equality in number or quantity <point for point>, or correspondence or correlation <for every one that works, you'll find five that don't> b. — used as a function word to indicate number of attempts <0 for 4> 9. — used as a function word to indicate duration of time or extent of space <gone for two days> 10. in honor of ; after <named for her grandmother> II. conjunction Date: 12th century for the reason that ; on this ground ; because III. abbreviation 1. foreign 2. forestry
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.