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

Court records indicate a Dane County court commissioner in December 1998 decided the bond would cover the $116 disorderly conduct forfeiture and the case was closed. Todd Richmond, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Republican running in special election for open Wisconsin Assembly seat once cited for disorderly conduct," 4 June 2018 Possible penalties would include a fine, imposition of a post-season ban and forfeiture of athletic scholarships. Michael Mccann,, "Michigan State Settles With the Victims of Larry Nassar's Abuse. How Might the NCAA Respond?," 18 May 2018 The 29-year-old had faced up to 10 years in prison, a dishonorable discharge and forfeiture of all pay and allowances under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, according to Stars and Stripes. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Army soldier found guilty of cutting straps, sending Humvees plummeting from plane during training exercise," 10 May 2018 Taking up the issue would give the justices a chance to set new limits on excessive fines and forfeitures for cash-hungry counties and cities. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Will the Supreme Court Rein in Civil Forfeiture?," 17 Apr. 2018 Hundreds of properties citywide are currently under forfeiture and slated for demolition. Chicago Tribune, "RAGE, RIOTS, RUIN," 1 Apr. 2018 More: Cases to watch in 2018: excessive force, voting rights, immigration and forfeitureMore: Sen. Brandt Hershman resigns to take job with law firm Several other bills involving voting rights were introduced this session. Tony Cook, Indianapolis Star, "Dead people's votes would count under Indiana senator's bill," 8 Jan. 2018 The $38 million came from forfeiture funds resulting from the office’s prosecutions of foreign banks. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Funded Testing of 55,000 Rape Kits Nationwide," 12 Mar. 2019 The vehicle used for the program, a Toyota Tacoma truck, was purchased and outfitted using $50,875 in asset forfeiture funds, which are the proceeds from property seized in drug enforcement efforts. Phil Diehl,, "Carlsbad makes park ranger program permanent," 19 May 2018

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

12 May 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).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!