1

forbear

play
verb for·bear \ fȯr-ˈber , fər- \

Definition of forbear

forbore play \fȯr-ˈbȯr, fər-\; forborne play \fȯr-ˈbȯrn, fər-\; forbearing
transitive verb
1 obsolete :to do without
2 :to hold oneself back from especially with an effort
  • forbore mentioning the incident
  • tried to forbear making rash judgments
3 obsolete :to leave alone :shun
  • forbear his presence
  • —William Shakespeare
intransitive verb
1 :hold back, abstain
  • have forborne from taking part in any controversy
  • —Abraham Lincoln
2 :to control oneself when provoked :be patient
  • forbore with his friend's failings

forbearer

noun

Examples of forbear in a Sentence

  1. He carefully forbore any mention of her name for fear of upsetting them.

  2. We decided to forbear provoking him any further.

  3. We decided to forbear from provoking him any further.

  4. He forebore to mention her name.

Recent Examples of forbear from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'forbear.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of forbear

Middle English forberen, from Old English forberan to endure, do without, from for- + beran to bear

forbear Synonyms

Synonyms
abjure, abstain (from), forgo (also forego), keep (from), refrain (from), withhold (from)
Antonyms
bow (to), give in (to), submit (to), succumb (to), surrender (to), yield (to)
Related Words
avoid, eschew, shun; check, constrain, curb, inhibit; deny, refuse, reject, repudiate; buck, combat, fight
Near Antonyms
acquiesce (to), capitulate, concede (to), knuckle under (to)

2

forbear

noun for·bear

Less common spelling of

:ancestor, forefather; also :precursor usually used in plural
  • His forebears fought in the American Civil War.

FORBEAR Defined for English Language Learners

forbear

play
verb

Definition of forbear for English Language Learners

  • : to choose not to do (something that you could do) : to avoid doing or saying (something)


FORBEAR Defined for Kids

forbear

play
verb for·bear \ fȯr-ˈber \

Definition of forbear for Students

forbore \-ˈbȯr\; forborne \-ˈbȯrn\; forbearing
1 :to hold back
  • He forbore from hitting the bully back.
2 :to be patient when annoyed or troubled


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