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

One could be forgiven for thinking that the butchcampiest of the pair here is Lena Waithe, who is, after all, a butch lesbian in a rainbow cape. Teen Vogue, "What Is Butchcamp? An Explainer by Way of 10 Past Met Gala Looks," 2 May 2019 While the characters of Cloak and Dagger were first introduced in a Spider-Man comic in 1982, fans of the current TV series Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger could be forgiven for mistaking the pair for a contemporary creation. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Cloak & Dagger's Olivia Holt Says She Will Stop Acting After Season Two," 18 Apr. 2019 Investors would be forgiven for being confused by the messages coming from the Chinese government this week. Mike Bird, WSJ, "Chinese Deleveraging is Dead, Long Live Chinese Deleveraging!," 26 Feb. 2019 Anyone who knows the Kardashian-Jenner family beauty habits could be forgiven for being a little skeptical of the makeover, as everyone from Kim to Khloe to Kylie is known to be a big fan of using full wigs and hair pieces to change up their style. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Kris Jenner Got an Unexpected Hair Transformation With Long '60s Bangs," 8 Jan. 2019 The project is potentially huge for Apple: the novels are incredibly popular reads, and have served as a (forgive me) foundational basis for a number of other science fiction stories, such as Star Wars. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Apple has greenlit a TV show based on Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series," 23 Aug. 2018 At least for now, the Bengals won't forgive the county what was agreed to in the lease. Scott Wartman, Cincinnati.com, "Agreement: Hamilton County will have to pay more to the Bengals - as much as $30 million.," 9 May 2018 But now that a new crop of young hopefuls have taken the stage, all is forgiven, right? Megan Stein, Country Living, "‘The Voice’ Fans Threaten Not to Vote for Adam Levine’s Team After Last Year’s Drama," 26 Feb. 2019 The secret to a perfect pancake is all in the flip, and flipping is easier to do on something like a griddle, which is totally flat and has a large, forgiving surface area. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "How to Make Perfect Homemade Pancakes in 7 Easy Steps," 27 Mar. 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

25 May 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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