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


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 Winners will be notified by email or telephone and will be required to execute a Release of Liability to claim prize, and failure to do so may result in forfeiture of prize., "Win a home-gating prize package from Gambit (PHOTO + VIDEO CONTEST)," 21 Oct. 2020 But one bucket of sanctions, the $2 billion in criminal forfeiture of profits, is more likely to be paid in full. Katie Benner, New York Times, "Purdue Pharma Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charges for Opioid Sales," 21 Oct. 2020 The government is seeking forfeiture of $8 million. Jason Meisner,, "Patriarch gets probation, home detention, in sports gambling scheme allegedly involving Casey Urlacher," 19 Oct. 2020 Because Independence initiated the cancellation, Lone Star will record a win in the forfeiture. Tess Demeyer, Dallas News, "Ranking Frisco ISD football teams through three weeks: Where do the three undefeated teams land?," 13 Oct. 2020 In a memo last week, commissioner Roger Goodell wrote that violations that lead to virus spread and affect the scheduling of games may lead to the forfeiture of draft picks and games. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Covid-19 Infections Derail the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans. Again.," 11 Oct. 2020 In a statement issued Wednesday about the Eagle River forfeiture, the ASD said East and Eagle River both agreed to it. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "Eagle River football team forfeits its final regular-season game rather than risk exposure to virus," 8 Oct. 2020 George’s suit alleges violation of the territory’s civil racketeering law and sought forfeiture of Epstein’s private island in the territory, restitution for his victims and unspecified damages. Patricia Hurtado,, "BNP Paribas Hit With Subpoena Seeking to Trace Epstein Funds," 5 Oct. 2020 The federal government asked a judge to order the forfeiture of office buildings Optima owns in Dallas and Louisville. Eric Heisig, cleveland, "Owners of Westin Cleveland Downtown, already mired in FBI probe, face mortgage foreclosure lawsuit," 5 Oct. 2020

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

Time Traveler for forfeiture

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for forfeiture

Last Updated

26 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Forfeiture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for forfeiture


How to pronounce forfeiture (audio)

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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!