at or to a greater distance, degree, or extent: the farther side of the building
Not to be confused with: further
– furthermore; in addition: further, he even brought a friend;
help or advance the progress of: She will further her own career.
[Farther and further have been used interchangeably throughout their histories. However, only further should be used to mean moreover, furthermore, additionally, or to advance the progress of.]
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree
A comparative of far
1. To or at a more distant or remote point: ran farther than the others.
2. To or at a more advanced point or stage: I went no farther that day.
3. Usage Problem To a greater extent or degree: carried the idea farther.
A comparative of far
More distant; remoter: the farther shore.
[Middle English, variant (influenced by far, far) of further; see further.]
Usage Note: Many writers since the Middle English period have used farther and further interchangeably. A relatively recent rule, however, states that farther should be reserved for physical distance and further for nonphysical, metaphorical advancement. The Usage Panel has favored this rule for some time. In our 1987 survey, 74 percent of the Usage Panel preferred farther in the sentence If you are planning to drive any farther than Ukiah, you'd better carry chains, while 64 percent preferred further in the sentence We won't be able to answer these questions until we are further along in our research. While the use of both adverbs was acceptable in these examples in our 2009 survey, only 62 percent accepted the use of further in the drive sentence quoted above, and only 58 percent accepted farther in the research example. Approval of usage following the rule was nearly unanimous.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. to or at a greater distance in space or time
2. in addition
3. more distant or remote in space or time
[C13: see far, further]
Usage: Farther, farthest, further, and furthest can all be used to refer to literal distance, but further and furthest are regarded as more correct for figurative senses denoting greater or additional amount, time, etc: further to my letter. Further and furthest are also preferred for figurative distance
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
far•ther (ˈfɑr ðər)
adv. compar. of far with farthest as superl.
1. at or to a greater distance: to run farther down the road.
2. at or to a more advanced point: to go no farther in one's graduate studies.
3. at or to a greater degree or extent: The application of the law was extended farther. adj. compar. offarwithfarthestas superl.
4. more distant or remote than something or some place nearer: the farther side of the mountain.
5. extending or tending to a greater distance: He made a still farther trip.
[1300–50; Middle English ferther;
orig. variant of further
As an adjective meaning “additional,” only further
is used: He gave no further trouble.
As an adjective designating distance, either literal or metaphoric, both farther
are used in all varieties of speech and writing: the farther (or further) island; a farther (or further) stretch of the imagination. further
is more usual as an adverb indicating degree: Campaign rhetoric further strained relations between the two parties,
alone functions as a sentence modifier: Further, this translation is closer to the original Greek.
As adverbs, both farther
are used for distance of any kind - spatial, temporal, or metaphorical: Seattle is farther (or further) from Chicago than Cincinnati is. Look no farther (or further): here is the solution. His study of the epic extends farther (or further) than any recent one.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Farther and further are both comparative forms of far. Farthest and furthest are the superlative forms. When you are talking about distance, you can use any of these forms.
Birds were able to find food by flying farther and farther.
He must have found a window open further along the balcony.
Gus was in the farthest corner of the room.
The sun is then at its furthest point to the south.
However, when you are talking about the degree or extent of something, you can only use further or furthest.
He needed to develop his reading further.
The furthest you can get on a farm is foreman, and you won't be this until it's nearly time to retire.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012