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



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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 The Charleston, South Carolina, native repeatedly called on his Christianity, catnip to White evangelicals (even those who supported an adulterer, a historic liar and a person who never asked for forgiveness at 80%). Clay Cane, CNN, "Tim Scott's deeply deceptive response to Joe Biden," 29 Apr. 2021 City records show nine apartment units at St. John’s and nine apartments at a senior living community in Westover Hills were set aside for renters who earned below 30 percent of the area median income in exchange for forgiveness on the loan. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "The rise and fall of a San Antonio apartment developer," 29 Apr. 2021 The release had come after families of the accused petitioned the palace for forgiveness. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, "Jordan releases 16 allegedly involved in foreign-backed sedition plot," 22 Apr. 2021 But despite the Falwells' pleas for forgiveness, recent interviews and new documents obtained by ABC News appear to indicate a concerted effort by Liberty University officials to sever all ties with the former evangelical power couple. Kyra Phillips, ABC News, "Jerry Falwell Jr. decries Liberty University's 'hostility' as school files $10M suit against him," 16 Apr. 2021 Last year, Madoff's lawyer filed a motion begging the court for forgiveness in the form of an early release, reporting that his client was terminally ill with kidney disease. NBC News, "Bernie Madoff, mastermind of largest Ponzi scheme in history, dies at 82," 14 Apr. 2021 In the Jewish tradition, something had to die and blood had to be spilled for forgiveness. Terry Pluto, cleveland, "The pain of our personal cross before feeling the relief of Easter – Terry Pluto’s Faith & You," 3 Apr. 2021 Even as Leo’s memories fade, his hunger for forgiveness comes into radiant focus. Washington Post, "In Russell Banks’s ‘Foregone,’ a dying man comes clean," 9 Mar. 2021 Almost from the moment that Wallen’s TMZ video was posted, fans—and some fellow artists—have been talking about the need for forgiveness and the inhumanity of condemning someone for a mistake. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Why a Disgraced Musician Is Dominating the Charts," 25 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for forgiveness

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for forgiveness

Last Updated

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Forgiveness.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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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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