for·​giv·​ing | \fər-ˈgi-viŋ, fȯr-\

Definition of forgiving 

1 : willing or able to forgive

2 : allowing room for error or weakness designed to be a forgiving tennis racquet

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Other Words from forgiving

forgivingly adverb
forgivingness noun

Examples of forgiving in a Sentence

a person with a forgiving nature

Recent Examples on the Web

The course played long and wide, with limited rough and forgiving pin positions. Brian Costa, WSJ, "American Golfers Ponder Foreign Concept—Hitting Fairways," 27 Sep. 2018 If these numbers are even close to reality, the Lagoon will wind up being the most forgiving pair of headphones for people who make a habit of forgetting or misplacing their charger. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Beyerdynamic’s new wireless headphones put the LED lights where they belong: on the inside," 31 Aug. 2018 The medical board suspended Ozumba's medical license within a week of his 2017 arrest, a prompt move in a profession that often takes a more forgiving approach. Fox News, "Texas jury convicts doctor of sexually assaulting patient," 27 July 2018 But that dual-density XtraFoam midsole, which comprises a pliant inner ring and a denser outer ring, is soft and forgiving, designed to absorb energy rather than return it. Ariella Gintzler, Outside Online, "First Impressions: The North Face’s 2019 Gear," 11 July 2018 Beyond the aforementioned reasons, of course, Cleveland may be in a more forgiving mood because James ended the city’s 52-year championship drought in 2016 by bringing the franchise its first NBA championship. Alex Wong, The Atlantic, "What’s Different About LeBron’s Move to the Lakers," 4 July 2018 He had been diagnosed just 10 months earlier with Burkitt lymphoma, one of the more forgiving forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma with a survival rate reaching 90 percent. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: Mayor Hogsett, Little League players, even grandmothers go bald to honor Jack Klein," 2 June 2018 His effort narrowly failed, but the teachers were not so forgiving. New York Times, "Can Weak Unions Get Teachers More Money?," 5 May 2018 Dry pavement is one of the most forgiving braking surfaces. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Tesla’s over-the-air brake upgrade was amazing—and also a bit worrying," 31 May 2018

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

1623, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for forgiving

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for forgiving

The first known use of forgiving was in 1623

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More Definitions for forgiving



English Language Learners Definition of forgiving

: able or willing to forgive someone or something


for·​giv·​ing | \fər-ˈgi-viŋ\

Kids Definition of forgiving

: willing or ready to excuse an error or offense a forgiving person

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More from Merriam-Webster on forgiving

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with forgiving

Spanish Central: Translation of forgiving

Nglish: Translation of forgiving for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of forgiving for Arabic Speakers

Comments on forgiving

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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