forgive

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

Other Words from forgive

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for forgive

Synonyms

Antonyms

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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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Jenkins asked fans to forgive him, not for launching the campaign, but for not giving them a heads-up in advance. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 18 May 2022 Though Jokerit competed reasonably well in its new league, the team’s working-class fan base in East Helsinki was never quite able to forgive him. Michael Hunt, Los Angeles Times, 16 May 2022 But, forgive me, your spouse seems underwhelmed — is that fair? Washington Post, 28 Jan. 2022 Sometimes, Jean-philippe struggles to forgive himself. Jacob Stern, The Atlantic, 18 Nov. 2021 The existing policy, set to expire next month, grants 15-year abatements that forgive 100% of property tax bills incurred as a result of improvements to a property, either through new construction or larger home renovation projects. Courtney Astolfi, cleveland, 10 May 2022 After months of delays, President Biden is expected to announce in coming weeks that the government will forgive at least $10,000 in debt for people making less than $125,000, according to news reports. Arit John, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2022 Another question: Does Biden have the legal authority to forgive student loan debt? Alicia Adamczyk, Fortune, 4 May 2022 Prominent Democrats, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, have been among those pressing Mr. Biden to forgive up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower. Andrew Restuccia, WSJ, 3 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for forgive

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near forgive

forging roll

forgive

forgive me

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Statistics for forgive

Last Updated

25 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Forgive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/forgive. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for forgive

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on forgive

Nglish: Translation of forgive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of forgive for Arabic Speakers

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