forbid

verb
for·bid | \fər-ˈbid, fȯr-\
forbade\fər-ˈbad, -ˈbād, fȯr- \ also forbad\fər-ˈbad, fȯr- \; forbidden\fər-ˈbi-dᵊn, fȯr- \; forbidding

Definition of forbid 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to proscribe (see proscribe sense 2) from or as if from the position of one in authority : command against The law forbids stores to sell liquor to minors. Her mother forbids her to go.

2 : to hinder or prevent as if by an effectual command Space forbids further treatment here. Modesty forbids telling what my part was in the affair.

forbid

adjective

Definition of forbid (Entry 2 of 2)

archaic

: accursed he shall live a man forbid— William Shakespeare

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Other Words from forbid

Verb

forbidder noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for forbid

Synonyms: Verb

ban, bar, enjoin, interdict, outlaw, prohibit, proscribe

Antonyms: Verb

allow, let, permit, suffer

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Choose the Right Synonym for forbid

Verb

forbid, prohibit, interdict, inhibit mean to debar one from doing something or to order that something not be done. forbid implies that the order is from one in authority and that obedience is expected. smoking is forbidden in the building prohibit suggests the issuing of laws, statutes, or regulations. prohibited the sale of liquor interdict implies prohibition by civil or ecclesiastical authority usually for a given time or a declared purpose. practices interdicted by the church inhibit implies restraints or restrictions that amount to prohibitions, not only by authority but also by the exigencies of the time or situation. conditions inhibiting the growth of free trade

Examples of forbid in a Sentence

Verb

I forbid you to go! She was forbidden by her parents to marry him. She was forbidden from marrying him. The museum forbids flash photography. The company's rules forbid dating among employees.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Governed by the forbidding Big Mother (Susanne Sachsße), the group consists of four middle-aged leaders and eight young recruits, the older women training the younger ones in subjects that range from physical fitness to history to astrology. Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "Lesbian revolutionaries smash sexual taboos to undermine the patriarchy in Bruce LaBruce's The Misandrists," 6 July 2018 Even the mother of my older brothers could have passed for white. Perhaps some of it is the allure of the forbidden. John Blake, CNN, "The blurring of racial lines won't save America. Why 'racial fluidity' is a con," 11 June 2018 The transformation of so many forbidding spaces was an inspiration to José Velázquez, the former executive director of Latino Memphis, an advocacy group. Alyson Krueger, New York Times, "From Blight to Bright Lights in Memphis," 18 May 2018 Of course, on the other side, there are so many forbidding negatives! Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "A Vintner’s Quest to Create a Truly American Wine," 14 May 2018 Religion was forbidden, even though Dolphins players pray on the 50 yard line before games. Molly Knight, Marie Claire, "NFL Cheerleaders Shamed for Being Too Sexy—and Not Having Sex at All," 1 May 2018 Men in other camps and housing developments are also forbidden from having women over, in an effort to keep out prostitutes. Longreads, "Life on the Oil Frontier," 23 Apr. 2018 Nonprofits such as this, which advocate for policy issues, are forbidden from contributing directly to candidates. David S. Rauf, Scientific American, "Why You Can't Learn about Money behind a Pro-Science Political Group," 28 Mar. 2018 As of November 11, 1957, when the above map was made, anyone traveling to the United States on a Soviet passport was forbidden from visiting Long Island, much of Northern California, and nearly the entire east coast of Florida. National Geographic, "Russians Were Once Banned From a Third of the U.S.," 26 Mar. 2018

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

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First Known Use of forbid

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1606, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for forbid

Verb

Middle English forbidden, from Old English forbēodan, from for- + bēodan to bid — more at bid

Adjective

see forbid entry 1

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Phrases Related to forbid

God/heaven forbid

Statistics for forbid

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for forbid

The first known use of forbid was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for forbid

forbid

verb

English Language Learners Definition of forbid

: to order (someone) not to do something

: to say that (something) is not allowed

forbid

verb
for·bid | \fər-ˈbid \
forbade\-ˈbad \; forbidden\-ˈbi-dᵊn \; forbidding

Kids Definition of forbid

: to order not to do something I forbid you to go!

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Comments on forbid

What made you want to look up forbid? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to reject or criticize sharply

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