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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Mothers have been known to forgive offspring for much more serious transgressions. Washington Post, 3 June 2021 Some Democratic lawmakers have been pushing President Joe Biden to forgive up to $50,000 per student in federal student loan debt, but it was left out of his budget request to Congress. Christopher Brito, CBS News, 2 June 2021 Trump required them to transmit that information to the Department of Education, which would then forgive their loans automatically. Robert Farrington, Forbes, 1 June 2021 Some landlords have opted not to apply for funding through the program because they will be forced to forgive 20% of unpaid rent. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, 1 June 2021 The Biden administration, however, is still facing pressure by some congressional Democrats to forgive $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower. Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN, 29 May 2021 Luann then seems to forgive Heather, who owns her comment that Luann wasn’t genuinely a friend to her. Brian Moylan, Vulture, 25 May 2021 His budget released Friday was studded with initiatives favored by his progressive base, including $7.2 billion to pay off people's outstanding rent and utility bills and $300 million to forgive traffic and other fines for lower-income residents. Arkansas Online, 15 May 2021 His budget released Friday was studded with initiatives favored by his progressive base, including $7.2 billion to pay off people’s outstanding rent and utility bills and $300 million to forgive traffic and other fines for lower-income residents. BostonGlobe.com, 15 May 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about forgive

Time Traveler for forgive

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for forgive

Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Forgive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/forgive. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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.

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!