for·​give·​ness | \ fər-ˈgiv-nəs How to pronounce forgiveness (audio) , fȯr-\

Definition of forgiveness

: the act of forgiving I ask for your forgiveness.

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Synonyms & Antonyms for forgiveness


absolution, amnesty, pardon, remission, remittal


penalty, punishment, retribution

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Examples of forgiveness in a Sentence

She treats us with kindness and forgiveness. they asked her forgiveness for failing to invite her to the party

Recent Examples on the Web

In order to qualify for the new funding, the agency says borrowers must have previously applied for the original loan forgiveness program. Collin Binkley,, "Thousands rejected from student loan forgiveness program over confusing rules, report finds," 5 Sep. 2019 Those companies denied any wrongdoing but agreed to settlements of the lawsuits that resulted in nearly $2 million of debt forgiveness for tenants. Baltimore Sun Staff,, "Jared Kushner’s apartment company says it rejects deal with Maryland attorney general over rental practices," 4 Sep. 2019 Borrowers might also research loan forgiveness programs offered by their state or for certain professions. David J. Nguyen, The Conversation, "5 things to consider before taking out a student loan," 28 Aug. 2019 And at a time when problems in the loan forgiveness program are more apparent, having ways to resolve them has become especially relevant. Danielle Douglas-gabriel, Washington Post, "The dizzying journey for public servants with student debt," 16 Aug. 2019 One-third of employers offered forgiveness programs averaging $102,000. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Trouble Seeing a Specialist? Here’s What’s Driving the ‘Doctor Draught’," 15 July 2019 Federal loan forgiveness programs take years for the borrower to qualify. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Struggling to pay student loans? You could be targeted by scammers," 10 July 2019 There will undoubtedly be more of these turns to the light in the future—pleas for forgiveness from Republicans and others who once denied the crisis unfolding before their eyes. Dave Levitan, The New Republic, "Reformed Climate Deniers Don’t Deserve Redemption," 8 Aug. 2019 For most of the season, Bonnie is alone, sitting by her mother’s hospital bedside, fantasizing about smothering her mother with a pillow, asking for forgiveness. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "The Disappointing, Emmy-Baiting Finale of “Big Little Lies” Season 2," 22 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'forgiveness.' 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 forgiveness

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for forgiveness

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for forgiveness

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

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More Definitions for forgiveness



English Language Learners Definition of forgiveness

: the act of forgiving someone or something
: the attitude of someone who is willing to forgive other people


for·​give·​ness | \ fər-ˈgiv-nəs How to pronounce forgiveness (audio) \

Kids Definition of forgiveness

: the act of ending anger at She asked for his forgiveness.

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Comments on forgiveness

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


readily or continually undergoing change

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