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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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 Student loans Student loans are typically viewed as some of the most forgiving forms of debt because they can be deferred for repayment for long periods of time. James Agnew, USA TODAY, "Dealing with debt: Understanding wage garnishment and how to avoid it," 12 Apr. 2018 They were routed 20-1 that day, also here in the game’s least forgiving environment. Dennis Lin,, "Padres' Clayton Richard allows career-worst 11 runs in Coors Field shellacking," 19 July 2017 That song, however, takes a much more forgiving stance than this one. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Taylor Swift Is Not Done Taking Shots at Kanye West on Reputation," 10 Nov. 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of forgiving

1623, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about forgiving

Statistics for forgiving

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for forgiving

The first known use of forgiving was in 1623

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

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


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!