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

But pro-Brexit voters, who have overlooked many a Johnson foible, might not forgive him for that one. Washington Post, "Boris Johnson has four options to escape his Brexit mess. One of them is to go to jail.," 11 Sep. 2019 Please forgive us, though, for interrupting your #ootd sweater-weather daydream to remind you of an *especially* important part of fall: college applications. Holly Schechter, Seventeen, "The Insider’s Guide to Nailing the College Application Process," 5 Sep. 2019 Rather than holding on to the debt, the group forgives it, freeing debtors from their obligations. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "Student Debt Is Transforming the American Family," 2 Sep. 2019 Television audiences might forgive the former, but were deemed too delicate for the latter. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "The Nostalgic End of Fleabag," 30 Aug. 2019 But forgive me for saying it: this time is different. David Meyer, Fortune, "The End of Shareholder Primacy, Again: CEO Daily," 23 Aug. 2019 Susan, Love of my life, mother of my son, co-author of this book: forgive me. Benjamin Moser, Harper's magazine, "Regarding the Pen of Others," 19 Aug. 2019 May God not forgive all those who drove us from our homes and did this to us. Rania Abouzeid, National Geographic, "Fleeing Syria, these child refugees become child laborers," 20 June 2019 Some forgive it after a period of time while others require repayment. Laura Kusisto, WSJ, "Home Buyers Get Government Help With Down Payments," 16 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

14 Sep 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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