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1 definition found
for For the life of me
From 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.
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