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

Antonyms

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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 That shouldn’t preclude forgiving some Europeans for their sense of loss. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "Patrios," 16 Sep. 2019 But the rest of the time, there is such easy drivability and eager pull from the eight speed that 16 mpg will be forgiven. San Diego Union-Tribune, "550-hp Jaguar F-Pace SVR: all claws, fangs and growl in a velvet coat," 15 Sep. 2019 The combat is forgiving with wide windows for players to counter enemy attacks and pull off combos. Gieson Cacho, The Mercury News, "Review: ‘Astral Chain’ challenges players by pushing boundaries of action game," 13 Sep. 2019 There aren't any huge new additions with this entry (last year's Takeover made a splash that hasn't yet been matched), but with an improved motion system that feels this fluid, that can certainly be forgiven. Brittany Vincent, CNN Underscored, "NBA 2K20 offers some of the best virtual basketball you'll ever play," 10 Sep. 2019 The contretemps proved fleeting, as a kind note the next day revealed that all was forgiven. Thomas Balcerski, Smithsonian, "The 175-Year History of Speculating About President James Buchanan’s Bachelorhood," 28 Aug. 2019 When family is involved, should everything be forgiven? Eric Marchese, Daily Pilot, "It’s all in the ‘Family’ for this playwright and theater," 26 Aug. 2019 Trump said his administration will now forgive federal student loan debt for permanently disabled veterans, a new benefit on top of changes in access to medical care for which the president takes outsize credit. Wire Service Reports, oregonlive.com, "Trump pledges student loan debt forgiveness for disabled veterans as he addresses AMVETS convention," 21 Aug. 2019 People with unpaid fines – and with penalties piling up – could get late fees forgiven. Hannah Sparling, Cincinnati.com, "Unpaid parking tickets in Cincinnati pile up to $10 million," 18 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

26 Oct 2019

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
How to pronounce forgive (audio)

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

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