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

Lost amid the hand-wringing over DeMarcus Cousins’ choice to take a bargain-basement deal to join the two-time-defending champions and the seeming forfeiture of the 2018-19 season is that the league long has featured dynasties. K.c. Johnson,, "Warriors' dominance should be celebrated, not criticized," 3 July 2018 Tuesday’s first consent decree sets strict new limits for when Philadelphia law enforcement can engage in forfeiture. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Philadelphia’s Forfeiture Landmark," 18 Sep. 2018 Along with its civil asset-forfeiture case, the Justice Department is building a criminal case against individuals involved in 1MDB. Bradley Hope, WSJ, "Inside Najib’s Circle, Shock and Bewilderment at Malaysia’s Era-Ending Election," 10 May 2018 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

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

8 Dec 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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with forfeiture

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for forfeiture

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living or existing for a long time

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