forgive

verb
for·​give | \ fər-ˈgiv How to pronounce forgive (audio) , fȯr-\
forgave\ fər-​ˈgāv How to pronounce forgave (audio) , fȯr-​ \; forgiven\ fər-​ˈgi-​vən How to pronounce forgiven (audio) , fȯr-​ \; forgiving

Definition of forgive

transitive verb

1 : to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) : pardon forgive one's enemies
2a : to give up resentment of or claim to requital (see requital sense 1) for forgive an insult
b : to grant relief from payment of forgive a debt

intransitive verb

: to grant forgiveness had to learn to forgive and forget

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Other Words from forgive

forgivable \ fər-​ˈgi-​və-​bəl How to pronounce forgivable (audio) , fȯr-​ \ adjective
forgivably \ fər-​ˈgi-​və-​blē How to pronounce forgivably (audio) , fȯr-​ \ adverb
forgiver noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for forgive

Synonyms

pardon

Antonyms

resent

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Choose the Right Synonym for forgive

excuse, condone, pardon, forgive mean to exact neither punishment nor redress. excuse may refer to specific acts especially in social or conventional situations or the person responsible for these. excuse an interruption excused them for interrupting Often the term implies extenuating circumstances. injustice excuses strong responses condone implies that one overlooks without censure behavior (such as dishonesty or violence) that involves a serious breach of a moral, ethical, or legal code, and the term may refer to the behavior or to the agent responsible for it. a society that condones alcohol but not narcotics pardon implies that one remits a penalty due for an admitted or established offense. pardon a criminal forgive implies that one gives up all claim to requital and to resentment or vengeful feelings. could not forgive their rudeness

Examples of forgive in a Sentence

Can you ever forgive me for being so selfish? I've never forgiven myself for the way I treated her. We must ask God to forgive us for our sins. When he feels he's been insulted, he finds it hard to forgive and forget. He finds it hard to forgive an insult. We must ask God to forgive our sins. The government has agreed to forgive some of the debt.
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Recent Examples on the Web

It’s easier to forgive plot holes and convenient narrative trickery in a series that’s aware of its own absurdities, and is willing to entertain. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "A Supernatural Spy Story Goes Dark in The Rook," 2 July 2019 Betrayed, Cartwright briefly called off their relationship before coming around to forgiving Taylor. Michele Corriston, PEOPLE.com, "How Jax Taylor & Brittany Cartwright 'Battled' for Their Relationship: 'We're Happier Than Ever'," 2 July 2019 Fast forward almost a decade later, and the Pratt siblings have yet to forgive or forget the bad blood between them. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "What Happened Between Spencer Pratt and Stephanie Pratt?," 30 June 2019 Smart, good-looking and buzzing with edginess, Sama's fourth feature has been made with a love and care that's palpable in every frame, allowing us to forgive its occasional, inevitable brushes with cliche. Jonathan Holland, The Hollywood Reporter, "'This Is Not Berlin' ('Esto no es Berlin'): Film Review," 29 June 2019 Perez has been trying to convince voters to forgive his criminal past. Russell Blair, courant.com, "Capitol Week in Review: Rest areas back open, UConn back in the Big East," 28 June 2019 Both Senators Warren and Bernie Sanders announced plans to forgive student loan debt, which has climbed to nearly $1.6 trillion nationwide for 44 million Americans. Sarah Min, CBS News, "So deep in student debt, they're suing Betsy DeVos over delays in loan forgiveness," 27 June 2019 At a job fair in Detroit on Saturday, people with similar backgrounds will have an opportunity to learn how to land a job with roughly 12 employers willing to forgive their felony records. Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit job fair to offer second chance to the formerly incarcerated," 20 June 2019 Nearly three years after the national for-profit ITT Technical Institute shuttered its doors, the state Department of Justice announced an agreement to forgive $5.8 million of debt for the college's former students in Wisconsin. Devi Shastri, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin's former ITT students will get $5.8 million in debt relief," 17 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'forgive.' 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 forgive

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2a

History and Etymology for forgive

Middle English, from Old English forgifan, from for- + gifan to give

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Statistics for forgive

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for forgive

The first known use of forgive was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for forgive

forgive

verb

English Language Learners Definition of forgive

: to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong) : to stop blaming (someone)
: to stop feeling anger about (something) : to forgive someone for (something wrong)
: to stop requiring payment of (money that is owed)

forgive

verb
for·​give | \ fər-ˈgiv How to pronounce forgive (audio) \
forgave\ -​ˈgāv \; forgiven\ -​ˈgi-​vən \; forgiving

Kids Definition of forgive

: to stop feeling angry at or hurt by Please forgive me—I didn't mean it.

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More from Merriam-Webster on forgive

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for forgive

Spanish Central: Translation of forgive

Nglish: Translation of forgive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of forgive for Arabic Speakers

Comments on forgive

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