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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

All of these align with a common belief in our society that there’s a dividing line between adulthood and childhood, and that standards and accountability need to be separate and more forgiving for youth. Darren Shou, WIRED, "The Next Big Privacy Hurdle? Teaching AI to Forget," 12 June 2019 Of the roughly 28,000 people who filed an application for debt forgiveness under the program as of June 2018, just 96 had their loans forgiven, government data show. Jillian Berman, WSJ, "All You Need to Know About Student-Loan Forgiveness," 16 Dec. 2018 Saunders: Kiz, forgive the play on words, but the Rox are stuck in a hard place. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Saunders vs Kiz: What player are Rockies most likely to move at trade deadline?," 29 July 2019 Much of the debate about college today focuses on tuition and mounting student debt, with Democratic presidential candidates even raising the possibility of forgiving all student loans. Beth Akers, Twin Cities, "Beth Akers: There’s too much emphasis on reducing student loans, not enough on reducing risk," 26 July 2019 Warren introduced a bill Tuesday called the Student Loan Debt Relief Act that would forgive student loans for millions of borrowers. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Can 2020 presidential election help you shake off student loan debt?," 25 July 2019 All is permitted, and forgiven, in the name of love. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’ Offers a Party, and a Playlist, for the Ages," 25 July 2019 Warren said 95% of student loan borrowers would get at least some of their loans forgiven. Gregory Korte, Fortune, "2020 Election Update: Warren’s Student Loan Relief Plan; Biden’s Crime Plan," 23 July 2019 His skills are best suited for ultra-long courses with wide fairways and forgiving greens, like Erin Hills at the 2017 US Open (which played at some 7,840 yards during the first two rounds). D.r., The Economist, "Can Rory McIlroy win on his home turf?," 17 July 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.

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

Statistics for forgive

Last Updated

17 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for forgive

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

See more words from the same century

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up forgive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to shake or wave menacingly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!