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

Silhouettes are forgiving and well proportioned, classy enough to appeal to cool mothers, yet youthful enough to be coveted by girls-in-the-know. Tiziana Cardini, Vogue, "In a Season of Sensational Runway Tailoring, the Best Investment Might Be a Suit from the Little Italian Label Giuliva Heritage," 6 Mar. 2019 Taylor Swift and Kanye West Taylor Swift doesn't forgive that easily, even if it's been several years later. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "8 Celeb Feuds that Will Never, Ever Go Away," 6 Mar. 2019 Two women from Ithaca, N.Y. are making headlines after raising money that eventually helped forgive more than $1 million in medical debt for low-income strangers. Korin Miller, SELF, "How 2 Women Bought and Forgave More Than $1 Million in Strangers' Medical Debt," 7 Dec. 2018 For younger viewers—those of us who might not have drank down the moving magic of Singin’ in the Rain, West Side Story, or Gigi—Damien Chazelle’s La La Land forgives those lapses. Vogue, "The 55 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time," 1 Feb. 2019 According to Levant, who is Jewish, Goldy’s decision to go to Charlottesville was a mistake that could have been forgiven. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Steve King endorses a bona fide white supremacist for Toronto mayor," 18 Oct. 2018 Thanks to Rowaida for joining us in the studio, and to Priya for calling in while on the move in Queens (forgive us for the varying sound quality this week). Condé Nast Traveler, "How Immigrant Parents Shaped Our Travel Experiences: Women Who Travel Podcast," 8 Oct. 2018 Following the school’s closing, the attorney general’s office fielded more than 100 calls from families asking where students could continue working on their degrees or how to seek to have student loans forgiven, Healey said. Laura Krantz, BostonGlobe.com, "After Mount Ida, AG seeks tougher college oversight," 25 May 2018 All was forgiven in the wake of the attacks on 9/11, though, when Giuliani rose to the occasion of helping the city grieve and rebuild. Melissa Locker, Time, "Last Week Tonight's John Oliver Wants to Know, 'What Happened to Rudy Giuliani?'," 7 May 2018

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

16 Mar 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

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