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In The Fairy Tale of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton, the author was talking about a prince returning to his castle through the forest, saying:

“The moon had risen in strengthening silver, and the sky showed in stripes of bright, nocturnal blue between the black stripes of the pines about the castle. Flowers of some wide and feathery sort—for he had never noticed such things before—were at once luminous and discoloured by the moonshine, and seemed indescribably fantastic as they clustered, as if crawling about the roots of the trees.

What's the meaning of for here?

  • It means “because”. – user121863 Apr 21 at 14:49
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    Does this answer your question? "For" with the meaning of "because" – user121863 Apr 21 at 14:50
  • But what's the reason here for what? – Ahmed Samir Apr 21 at 14:50
  • I can't get the causality here – Ahmed Samir Apr 21 at 14:56
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    It's a literary, broadened usage. More than just 'because'. Try ' – and here I have to explain that he was unfamiliar with flowers [/this sort of flower], and hence could describe them no more precisely –'. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 21 at 14:56
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For means seeing that or since here:

for, conj.
2. a. Introducing the ground or reason for something previously said: Seeing that, since. Cf. Greek γάρ, Latin nam or enim, French car, German denn.
Source: Oxford English Dictionary (login required)

The flowers, rather than being called by their common or botanical name, are described, and that is because he had never seen them before and didn't know what to call them:

Flowers of some wide and feathery sort (no name for them—seeing that he had never noticed such things before) were at once luminous and discoloured by the moonshine . . .

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  • Thank you so much, that's clearer – Ahmed Samir Apr 21 at 15:33

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