1 intended to be given to or belong to a particular person: I've got a present for you. | Save some for Arthur.2 intended to be used in a particular situation: We've bought some new chairs for the office. | a name-plate for the door3 used to show the purpose of an object, action, etc: a knife for cutting bread | What did you do that for? | a space just large enough for a table and two chairs | for sale/hire/rent (=available to be bought, hired): House for sale. | They have tools and garden equipment for hire.4 if you do something for someone, you do it instead of them in order to help them: I looked after the kids for her. | Let me lift that for you.5 if something is done for someone, or if they are given something for a problem, they are helped or their situation is improved: The doctor knew that there was nothing he could do for her. | I've found it for you. | I'll do what I can for you. | What can I do for you? (=can I help you?)6 if something is arranged for a particular time, it is planned that it should happen then: I've invited them for 9 o'clock. | I've made an appointment for 18th October. | It's time for supper.7 if you buy someone something, or arrange an event for their birthday etc, you do it to celebrate that occasion: What did you get for your birthday?8 used to express a length of time: Bake the cake for 40 minutes. | They had been walking for a good half hour. | I've been meaning to ask you for ages. | He's been off work for a long time. | for a while: I'm borrowing it for a while.—see during, since 39 for now/for the moment used to say that you are suggesting something as a temporary solution, but it may be changed later: I think for now we're just going to have to keep the cats in the house.10 used to express distance: We walked for miles. | Factories and warehouses stretched for quite a distance along the canal.11 used to state where a person, vehicle etc is going: I set off for work. | the night before leaving for New York | the train for Manchester | I'm for bed/home BrE (=I'm going to bed/going home)12 used to show a price or amount: a cheque for a hundred pounds | The diamond was insured for two thousand dollars.13 in order to have, do, get, or obtain something: She decided to look for a job. | Mother was too ill to get up for dinner. | the qualifications necessary for entry to university | I paid $3 for it. | an expert whom you can rely on for advice | For further details, write to this address. | Let's go for a walk. | We just did it for fun. | waiting for the bus | legislating for equality | run for your life (=to save your life)14 now for spoken used to say what you're going to have or do now: Now for some fun!15 because of or as a result of something: if, for any reason, you cannot attend ... | a reward for bravery | We could hardly see for the mist. | A certain amount must be deducted for depreciation. | for doing sth: He got a ticket for driving through a red light.16 as to or concerning something: I felt sorry for him. | He has a talent for upsetting people. | I'm sure she's the ideal person for the job. | We had pasta for lunch. | Fortunately for him, he can swim. | The success rates for each task are given in Table 4. | too...for me/her etc (=more than I can deal with): You're too quick for me! | he's a great one for (=he always wants or is concerned with): He's a great one for details. | Are you all right for money? (=do you have enough?) | ...is not for me (=is not suitable or appropriate for me): City life is not for me.17 if you work for a company, play for a team etc, this is the one in which you work, play etc: surveyors working for property services | He writes for a weekly paper. | She plays for the A team.18 in favour of, supporting, or in agreement with something: discussing the case for and against nuclear energy | How many people voted for the proposal? | Three cheers for the captain. | I'm all for (=I approve of): I'm all for people enjoying themselves.19 representing, meaning, or as a sign of something: What's the word for `happy' in French? | Red is for danger.20 used after a comparative form to mean after, as a result of, or because of: You'll feel better for a break.21 used to say that a particular feature of someone or something is surprising when you consider what they are: It's cold for the time of year. | She looks young for her age.22 for sb/sth to do stha) used to introduce a phrase that is used instead of a clause (2): It is really unusual for Michael to get cross. | I can't bear for sb/sth to: I can't bear for you to be unhappy. | nothing worse/easier than for sb/sth to: There's nothing worse than for a parent to ill treat a child.b) used when you are describing what someone should do, might do, or has done: The plan is for us to leave in the morning. | a need/desire/chance for sb/sth to: There is an urgent need for someone to tackle this problem. | There will be another opportunity for them to do it again.c) used when you are explaining a reason for something: He must have had some bad news for him to be so quiet. (=as/since he is so quiet) | I've sent off my coat for it to be cleaned. (=in order that it may be cleaned)d) used when you are saying what someone or something is able to do: It's easy for a computer to keep a record of this information. | It's impossible for me to get money out of Dorothy. | large/difficult/near enough for sb/sth to: The dolphin was near enough for me to reach out and touch it. | too large/difficult/near for sb/sth to: It's too difficult for me to explain.23 for each/every used to say that each of one kind of thing has or will have something of another kind: For each mistake, you'll lose half a point. | For every three people who agree, you'll find five who don't.24 for alla) in spite of: For all his efforts, he still came last. | She still loves him for all that.b) considering how little: For all the success you've had, you might just as well have not bothered!25 for all I know/care spoken used to say that you do not really know or care: For all I know, he could be dead. | He can jump into the river for all I care!26 I wouldn't do it for anything informal used to emphasize that you definitely would not do it: I would not go through that again for anything.27 I for one believe/think that... spoken this is my opinion, even if no one else agrees: I for one believe that she's making a big mistake.28 for one thing... (and for another) used when you are giving reasons for a statement you have made: No, I'm not going to buy it; for one thing I don't like the colour, and for another it's far too expensive.29 if it weren't for/if it hadn't been for if a particular thing had not happened, if someone had not done something, or if a situation was different: If it hadn't been for you, I would not be alive now.30 (well,) that's/there's...for you! spokena) used to say that it is typical that something has been a disappointment; you cannot expect anything better of that type of thing: That's foreign hotels for you!b) used to say that something is the complete opposite of what you were saying: I gave it to her and she just threw it away; there's gratitude for you!31 be (in) for it to be likely to be blamed or punished: You'll be in for it if she finds out what you've done!2 conjunction formal used to introduce the reason for something; because: He found it increasingly difficult to read, for his eyes were failing.
Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.