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

Synonyms for forfeiture


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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 Those properties, along with vehicles and the Escalante’s bank accounts, will be subject to an asset forfeiture proceeeding. Howard Koplowitz |, al, 14 Oct. 2021 The seizure was part of a practice known across the country as civil asset forfeiture under anti-racketeering, or RICO, laws. Perry Vandell, The Arizona Republic, 7 Oct. 2021 There’s a pernicious procedure called civil asset forfeiture that Congress should have banned years ago. Steve Forbes, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia have taken steps to scale back their civil asset forfeiture laws since 2014. Aallyah Wright, USA TODAY, 19 Aug. 2021 This follows similar repeals in Nebraska, New Mexico, and North Carolina, while many other states have passed civil asset forfeiture reforms. Lindsey Mcginnis, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 Aug. 2021 Using asset forfeiture money and grants, none of the families have to pay for their child’s attendance. Jordan Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 July 2021 House Bill 2810 takes important steps toward making civil asset forfeiture more fair. Isaac Schorr, National Review, 9 Mar. 2021 Oral arguments began for Johnson's civil forfeiture case this week in the Arizona Court of Appeals, in which three judges repeatedly questioned and criticized a Maricopa County attorney's argument against Johnson. The Arizona Republic, 18 Nov. 2021

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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Time Traveler for forfeiture

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near forfeiture



forfeiture bond

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Statistics for forfeiture

Last Updated

2 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Forfeiture.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for forfeiture



English Language Learners Definition of forfeiture

: 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


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