Afterward vs Forward - What's the difference?

afterward | forward |

As adverbs the difference between afterward and forward

is that afterward is (us) subsequently to some other action while forward is towards the front or from the front.

As a noun forward is

(dialectal|or|obsolete) agreement; covenant or forward can be (rugby) one of the eight players (comprising two props, one hooker, two locks, two flankers and one number eight, collectively known as the pack) whose primary task is to gain and maintain possession of the ball (compare back).

As an adjective forward is

toward the front or at the front.

As a verb forward is

to advance, promote.




  • (US) subsequently to some other action
  • Derived terms

    * afterwardness


    * (Commonwealth English ) afterwards


    * beforehand

    See also

    * afterword



    Alternative forms

    * (l)

    Etymology 1

    From (etyl), from (etyl) . More at (l), (l).


    (en noun)
  • (dialectal, or, obsolete) Agreement; covenant.
  • Etymology 2

    From (etyl) foreward, from (etyl) .


    (en adjective)
  • Toward the front or at the front.
  • The fire was confined to the forward portion of the store.
    the forward''' gun in a ship, or the '''forward ship in a fleet
  • Without customary restraint or modesty.
  • I thought his suggestion that we move in together was rather forward .
    1999:' ''"Would you think it '''forward of me to kiss you?" asked Tristran.'' — Neil Gaiman, ''Stardust , pg. 44 (2001 Perennial paperback edition).
  • (finance) Expected in the future.
  • The stock price is currently 12 times forward earnings.
  • Ready; prompt; strongly inclined; in a bad sense, overready or hasty.
  • * Bible, Gal. ii. 10
  • Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
  • * Shakespeare
  • Nor do we find him forward to be sounded.
  • Advanced beyond the usual degree; advanced for the season.
  • The grass is forward''', or '''forward''' for the season. We have a '''forward spring.
  • * Shakespeare
  • The most forward bud / Is eaten by the canker ere it blow.
    Usage notes
    * The superlative forwardmost can be used for the "toward or at the front" sense. There does not appear to be a "forwardmore".
    * (at the front) anterior, front * (without customary restraint) bold, fresh, impertinent * (expected in the future) forecast, predicted
    * (at the front) back, posterior, rear * (without customary restraint) restrained * (expected in the future) past


  • Towards the front or from the front.
  • *
  • A great bargain also had been the excellent Axminster carpet which covered the floor; as, again, the arm-chair in which Bunting now sat forward , staring into the dull, small fire. In fact, that arm-chair had been an extravagance of Mrs. Bunting. She had wanted her husband to be comfortable after the day's work was done, and she had paid thirty-seven shillings for the chair.
  • In the usual direction of travel.
  • Into the future.
  • *
  • , title=(The Celebrity), chapter=8 , passage=The humor of my proposition appealed more strongly to Miss Trevor than I had looked for, and from that time forward she became her old self again; for, even after she had conquered her love for the Celebrity, the mortification of having been jilted by him remained.}}
    * (towards the front) forwards * (in the usual direction of travel) ahead, forth, on, onward, onwards * (into the future) forth, forwards, hereon, on, onward, onwards
    * (towards the front) back, backward, backwards, rearwards * (in the usual direction of travel) back, backward, backwards, rearwards, in reverse * (in the future) backward, backwards, into the past
    Derived terms
    * (adverb) * look forward * look forward to


    (en verb)
  • To advance, promote.
  • * 1941 , (W Somerset Maugham), Up at the Villa , Vintage 2004, p. 26:
  • Mary had a suspicion that this plan had been arranged beforehand, for she knew how the lewd old woman loved to forward love affairs […].
  • To send (a letter, email etc.) to a third party.
  • I'll be glad to forward your mail to you while you're gone.
    * pass on
    Derived terms
    * fast forward * forwarding address * freight forwarder


    (en noun)
  • (rugby) one of the eight players (comprising two props, one hooker, two locks, two flankers and one number eight, collectively known as the pack) whose primary task is to gain and maintain possession of the ball (compare back).
  • (soccer) A player on a team in football (soccer) in the row nearest to the opposing team's goal, who are therefore principally responsible for scoring goals.
  • (ice hockey) An umbrella term for a centre or winger in ice hockey.
  • (basketball) The small forward or power forward position; two frontcourt positions that are taller than guards but shorter than centers.
  • (nautical) The front part of a vessel.
  • (Internet) An e-mail message that is forwarded to another recipient or recipients; an electronic chain letter.
  • * 2004 , Tamara Stevens, What Is Snail Mail?: The Lost Art of Letterwriting (page 27)
  • When you receive your new pen-pal's email address, do not automatically put it in your address book and use the email Addy to send 'forwards' to. Not every pen pal likes 'forwards', especially jokes and meaningless emails.
  • * 2009 , Joli Ballew, Windows 7 for the Over 50s in Simple Steps
  • This method attaches the files to a new email, which is fine if you want to create a new email. The only problem with this is that it doesn't work if you'd rather send forwards or replies.
  • Synonyms
    * (soccer position) attacker, centre forward, striker
    See also
    * foreword, meaning a preface or introduction