for·​bear·​ance fȯr-ˈber-ən(t)s How to pronounce forbearance (audio)
plural forbearances
: 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.
: the act of forbearing : patience
Mrs Varden entreated her to remember that … marriage … was a state requiring great fortitude and forbearance.Charles Dickens
: the quality of being forbearing : leniency
known … for her forbearance with her incorrigible husbandWilla Cather

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 Once production began, the cast became key collaborators, not just for their forbearance in waiting out a lengthy shoot. Daniel D'addario, Variety, 8 Feb. 2024 The move also means affected borrowers will be placed into administrative forbearance. Alia Wong, USA TODAY, 5 Jan. 2024 Certain past periods of deferment and forbearance can count, as well. Adam S. Minsky, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2024 That’s a reverse from earlier in the pandemic, when balances were actually falling as a result of government benefit programs and forbearances. Alicia Adamczyk, Fortune, 9 Aug. 2023 Quite simply, Putin and his team appear to assume that Russia will have enough reserves of all types—including the forbearance of its population—to last their own lifetimes. Andrei Kolesnikov, Foreign Affairs, 7 Mar. 2024 Although job loss spiked during Covid, stimulus checks and forbearance from banks and credit card companies helped many consumers avoid financial trouble. Matt Egan, CNN, 7 Mar. 2024 But in the past, many borrowers were wrongfully steered into costly forbearances (which don’t count toward loan forgiveness), and poor record-keeping prevented others from getting credit for their time spent in repayment. Adam S. Minsky, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 Once the timing of the case pushed hard up against a national election in which Trump was likely to run, forbearance would have been the proper and public-spirited course. Rich Lowry, National Review, 14 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'forbearance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see forbear entry 1

First Known Use

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of forbearance was in 1570

Dictionary Entries Near forbearance

Cite this Entry

“Forbearance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


for·​bear·​ance fȯr-ˈbar-ən(t)s How to pronounce forbearance (audio)
: the act of forbearing
: the quality of being forbearing : patience

Legal Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on forbearance

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