fore and aft

fore-and-aft

[fawr-uhnd-aft, -ahft, fohr-] Nautical.

Origin:
1610–20

Dictionary.com Unabridged

fore

1 [fawr, fohr]
adjective
1.
situated at or toward the front, as compared with something else.
2.
first in place, time, order, rank, etc.; forward; earlier.
3.
Nautical.
a.
of or pertaining to a foremast.
b.
noting a sail, yard, boom, etc., or any rigging belonging to a fore lower mast or to some upper mast of a foremast.
c.
noting any stay running aft and upward to the head of a fore lower mast or to some specified upper mast of a foremast: fore topmast stay.
d.
situated at or toward the bow of a vessel; forward.
adverb
4.
Nautical. at or toward the bow.
6.
Obsolete, before.
noun
7.
the forepart of anything; front.
8.
the fore, Nautical. the foremast.
preposition, conjunction
9.
Also, 'fore. Informal. before.
Idioms
10.
fore and aft, Nautical. in, at, or to both ends of a ship.
11.
to the fore,
a.
into a conspicuous place or position; to or at the front.
b.
at hand; ready; available.
c.
still alive.

Origin:
by construal of fore- as an adj., hence nominalized; fore and aft perhaps as translation of Dutch or Low German; sense “before” (defs 6, 9) perhaps continuation of Middle English, Old English fore in this sense, or as aphetic form of afore

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fore1 (fɔː)
 
adj
1.  (usually in combination) located at, in, or towards the front: the forelegs of a horse
 
n
2.  the front part
3.  something located at, in, or towards the front
4.  short for foremast
5.  fore and aft located at or directed towards both ends of a vessel: a fore-and-aft rig
6.  to the fore
 a.  to or into the front or conspicuous position
 b.  (Scot), (Irish) alive or active: is your grandfather still to the fore?
 
adv
7.  at or towards a ship's bow
8.  obsolete before
 
prep, —conj
9.  a less common word for before
 
[Old English; related to Old Saxon, Old High German fora, Gothic faura, Greek para, Sanskrit pura]

fore2 (fɔː)
 
interj
(in golf) a warning shout made by a player about to make a shot
 
[C19: probably short for before]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

fore
O.E. fore (prep.) "before, in front of;" (adv.) "before, previously," common Gmc. (cf. O.H.G. fora, O.Fris. fara, Ger. vor, Goth. faiura, O.N. fyrr "for"); from PIE *per-/*pr- (cf. Skt. pura "before, formerly;" Avestan paro "before;" Hittite para- "on, forth;" Gk. paros "before," para "from beside, beyond,"
peri "around, about, toward," pro "before;" L. pro "before, for, on behalf of, instead of," prae "before," per "through, for;" O.C.S. pra-dedu "great-grandfather"). The warning cry in golf is first recorded 1878, probably a contraction of before.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

fore and aft

Both front and back, everywhere, as in The children clung to the teacher fore and aft. This expression is nautical terminology for the bow, or front, and the stern, or back, of a vessel. Today it is also used more broadly. [First half of 1600s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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