for·​fei·​ture | \ ˈfȯr-fə-ˌchu̇r How to pronounce forfeiture (audio) , -chər, -ˌt(y)u̇r\

Definition of forfeiture

1 : the act of forfeiting : the loss of property or money because of a breach of a legal obligation assets subject to forfeiture
2 : something (such as money or property) that is forfeited : penalty

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for forfeiture


damages, fine, forfeit, mulct, penalty

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of forfeiture in a Sentence

the forfeiture for early withdrawal of the investment savings will be an amount equal to 10 percent of the investment

Recent Examples on the Web

As parties in the hearing, Rodriguez and Martinez cannot vote on the forfeiture issue. Scott Huddleston,, "San Antonio suburb Leon Valley resumes hearing on whether to oust council member," 18 July 2019 The average forfeiture amount in Washington is just $141. Radley Balko, Twin Cities, "Radley Balko: Civil asset forfeiture doesn’t discourage drug use or help police solve crimes, study concludes," 16 July 2019 Only one application per person will be accepted; submitting duplicates can result in disqualification and forfeiture. Baltimore Sun Staff,, "Black bear hunting lottery applications being accepted by DNR," 16 July 2019 He was not assessed a code violation for lack of effort during the match; his forfeiture of the prize money was announced two days later. Ben Rothenberg, New York Times, "‘Like I’m Some Kind of Criminal’: Tougher Fines in Tennis," 11 July 2019 In late March, Wodnicki aired his frustrations to reporters after learning Cook County prosecutors dropped the charges against the actor in exchange for community service and forfeiture of $10,000 posted for bond. Jeremy Gorner,, "Chicago police commander reassigned after allegedly going over 100 mph while being pursued by Indiana trooper," 11 July 2019 Last weekend, deputies issued 20 citations, each carrying maximum forfeitures of $263.50, for underage drinking at Bradford Beach. William Langhorne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office cracks down on public intoxication in parks for 2nd weekend in a row," 8 July 2019 He has never held elected office, but part of his DOJ experience included working in Washington, D.C., as the department’s national asset forfeiture and money laundering section coordinator from 2001 to 2003. Tess Vrbin,, "Former assistant U.S. attorney seeks to challenge Rep. Jahana Hayes in 2020," 4 July 2019 Foxx ultimately dropped charges against Smollett following his mandated community service and bail forfeiture. Meagan Fredette,, "Jussie Smollett's Case Takes A Turn As Judge Orders A Special Prosecutor," 24 June 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of forfeiture

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about forfeiture

Statistics for forfeiture

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for forfeiture

The first known use of forfeiture was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for forfeiture



English Language Learners Definition of forfeiture

law : the act of giving up something as punishment or because of a rule or law : the act of forfeiting something


for·​fei·​ture | \ ˈfȯr-fə-ˌchu̇r How to pronounce forfeiture (audio) \

Legal Definition of forfeiture

1 : the loss of a right, money, or especially property because of one's criminal act, default, or failure or neglect to perform a duty — compare waiver
2 : something (as money or property) that is forfeited as a penalty

More from Merriam-Webster on forfeiture

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with forfeiture

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for forfeiture

Comments on forfeiture

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


something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!