further

If you ask your parents for money, they might say they need to think about it further and then ask you lots of questions. Further refers to figurative distance, like a thought you need more time on.

Further often gets confused with farther, but it's better to use further to mean an abstract distance, when two things are moving apart in terms of ideals, agreement, or thoughts, and farther when you're talking about physical distance. There's also a verb form of further that means "to promote the growth or progress of," which you might use in a sentence like, "These new gigs should help her further her career as a rock musician."

Definitions of further
  1. adverb
    to or at a greater extent or degree or a more advanced stage (`further' is used more often than `farther' in this abstract sense)
    further complicated by uncertainty about the future”
    “let's not discuss it further
    “nothing could be further from the truth”
    “they are further along in their research than we expected”
    synonyms: farther
  2. adverb
    to or at a greater distance in time or space (`farther' is used more frequently than `further' in this physical sense)
    “went only three miles further
    further in the future”
    synonyms: farther
  3. adjective
    more distant in especially degree
    “nothing could be further from the truth”
    further from our expectations”
    synonyms: farther
    far
    located at a great distance in time or space or degree
  4. adverb
    in addition or furthermore
    “if we further suppose”
    “stated further that he would not cooperate with them”
    further, they should be here already”
  5. verb
    contribute to the progress or growth of
    synonyms: advance, boost, encourage, promote
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    types:
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    connive at, wink at
    give one's silent approval to
    foster
    promote the growth of
    spur
    incite or stimulate
    help
    contribute to the furtherance of
    carry
    take further or advance
    feed
    support or promote
    conduce, contribute, lead
    be conducive to
    type of:
    back up, support
    give moral or psychological support, aid, or courage to
  6. verb
    promote the growth of
    synonyms: foster
    see moresee less
    type of:
    advance, boost, encourage, promote
    contribute to the progress or growth of
Commonly confused words

farther / further

Use the word farther when you mean physical distance, like if you run farther than your friend. Use further for basically everything else. Further refers to abstractions like ideas or thoughts.

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