Simple Definition of forswear
: to promise to give up (something) or to stop doing (something)
Examples of forswear in a sentence
She forswore her allegiance to the old regime.
He foreswore cigarettes as his New Year's resolution.
Did You Know?
Forswear (which is also sometimes spelled foreswear) is the modern English equivalent of the Old English forswerian. It can suggest denial ("[Thou] would'st forswear thy own hand and seal" - John Arbuthnot, John Bull) or perjury ("Is it the interest of any man … to lie, forswear himself, indulge hatred, seek desperate revenge, or do murder?" - Charles Dickens, American Notes). But in current use, it most often has to do with giving something up, as in "the warring parties agreed to forswear violence" and "she refused to forswear her principles." The word abjure is often used as a synonym of forswear, though with less emphasis on the suggestion of perjury or betrayal of the beliefs that one holds dear.
Variants of forswear
Origin and Etymology of forswear
Middle English forsweren, from Old English forswerian, from for- + swerian to swear
First Known Use: before 12th century
Synonym Discussion of forswear
Seen and Heard
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