for·​bear·​ance | \ fȯr-ˈber-ən(t)s How to pronounce forbearance (audio) , fər- \
plural forbearances

Definition of forbearance

1 : a refraining from the enforcement of something (such as a debt, right, or obligation) that is due The policy provides a means of forbearance for borrowers meeting certain criteria.
2 : the act of forbearing : patience Mrs Varden entreated her to remember that … marriage … was a state requiring great fortitude and forbearance.— Charles Dickens
3 : the quality of being forbearing : leniency known … for her forbearance with her incorrigible husband— Willa Cather

Synonyms & Antonyms for forbearance



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Examples of forbearance in a Sentence

He showed great forbearance in his dealings with them. we thank you for your forbearance while we attend to the technical difficulties interrupting the TV program
Recent Examples on the Web Biden’s deadline actually applies to only a portion of student debt policy: the forbearance that has been granted borrowers since March 2020 in recognition of the burdens of the pandemic. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 22 Aug. 2022 Direct federal loans would the only type covered by the emergency forbearance passed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Leada Gore |, al, 12 Aug. 2022 That could look like a reduction or delay on monthly payments, covering past due taxes or a chance to extend the forbearance agreement if financial hardship continues. Nushrat Rahman, Detroit Free Press, 22 Dec. 2021 Nearly 41 million borrowers have benefited from a freeze on interest accruals and about 27 million borrowers have not had to pay their monthly bills since the forbearance began, Reuters reports. Essence, 22 Jan. 2021 The rest consists of federal loans, which currently are in forbearance because of the pandemic. Lisa Ward, WSJ, 11 Sep. 2022 These companies also process requests for deferment or forbearance. Megan Leonhardt, Fortune, 29 Aug. 2022 Like other forgiveness measures, including regular deferment and forbearance options offered by the government, this temporary student loan payment holiday only applies to federal loans — not private. Robert Farrington, Forbes, 8 June 2022 Approximately $1 trillion in Direct Loans across 24.8 million student loan borrowers are in student loan forbearance as as result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Zack Friedman, Forbes, 16 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of forbearance

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for forbearance

see forbear entry 1

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The first known use of forbearance was in 1570

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Last Updated

29 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Forbearance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for forbearance


variants: also forebearance \ fȯr-​ˈbar-​əns \

Legal Definition of forbearance

: a refraining from the enforcement of something (as a debt, right, or obligation) that is due

More from Merriam-Webster on forbearance

Nglish: Translation of forbearance for Spanish Speakers


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