Definition of forbear
1 obsolete : to do without
2 : to hold oneself back from especially with an effort <forbore mentioning the incident>
3 obsolete : to leave alone : shun <forbear his presence — Shakespeare>
2 : to control oneself when provoked : be patient
Examples of forbear in a sentence
He carefully forbore any mention of her name for fear of upsetting them.
We decided to forbear provoking him any further.
We decided to forbear from provoking him any further.
He forebore to mention her name.
Origin and Etymology of forbear
Middle English forberen, from Old English forberan to endure, do without, from for- + beran to bear
First Known Use: before 12th century
FORBEAR Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of forbear for Students
1 : to hold back <He forbore from hitting the bully back.>
2 : to be patient when annoyed or troubled
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up forbear? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).