for·fei·ture | \ˈfȯr-fə-ˌchu̇r, -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

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Synonyms for forfeiture


damages, fine, forfeit, mulct, penalty

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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

On Wednesday, the US Attorney's office for the Central District of California filed an asset forfeiture complaint seeking to retain possession of the mosaic, which is already in the government's custody. Dakin Andone, CNN, "California man accused of smuggling Byzantine-era mosaic out of Syria," 27 May 2018 Hogrefe was additionally served with a Will County bond-forfeiture warrant on a vehicular-trespassing charge, police said. Staff Report, Daily Southtown, "Southland police blotter," 26 June 2018 He was sentenced to a punitive letter of reprimand and a forfeiture of three months' pay. Jamie Crawford, CNN, "Former commander of USS McCain pleads guilty following deadly collision," 25 May 2018 House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing on the return of taxpayers' funds seized under civil assets forfeiture. Renae Merle, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Trump's CFPB nominee is facing questions about the immigration controversy," 20 June 2018 The complaint also includes an audacious, if tenuous, argument that, just as drug dens can be seized from their owners, Facebook is also at risk of civil asset forfeiture for facilitating criminal activity via its property. Issie Lapowsky, WIRED, "Tusks, Horns, and Claws: The Fight to Dismantle the Facebook Animal Parts Bazaar," 5 June 2018 The suit alleges Customs and Border Protection used civil forfeiture laws to take the money without arresting or charging anyone with a crime. Kelly Murray, CNN, "US customs seizes Ohio family's life savings at airport," 2 June 2018 Last summer, Trump reinstated a controversial federal program that lets local police hand over an asset forfeiture case to a federal agency and then split the proceeds. Neena Satija, star-telegram, "The government took $41,000 from this Texan at a Houston airport six months ago. They never gave it back. | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 9 May 2018 Farnsworth and Montgomery's warm relationship was evident at a hearing last year, during a rare disagreement over a civil-asset forfeiture bill. Megan Cassidy, azcentral, "Arizona has a huge prison population. Lawmakers take no action to change that. Why?," 8 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.

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First Known Use of forfeiture

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for forfeiture

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

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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 \

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

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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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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