for·​go fȯr-ˈgō How to pronounce forgo (audio)
variants or less commonly forego
forwent fȯr-ˈwent How to pronounce forgo (audio) ; forgone fȯr-ˈgȯn How to pronounce forgo (audio)
 also  -ˈgän
; forgoing fȯr-ˈgō-iŋ How to pronounce forgo (audio)

transitive verb

: to give up the enjoyment or advantage of : do without
never forwent an opportunity of honest profitR. L. Stevenson
decided to forgo dessert for a few days
archaic : forsake
forgoer noun

Examples of forgo in a Sentence

She is planning to forgo her right to a trial and simply plead guilty. I'll forgo dessert tonight—I'm trying to lose weight.
Recent Examples on the Web On Palm Sunday — a week before Easter — millions around the globe watched as Francis, at the last minute, decided to forgo delivery of his homily. Anthony Faiola, Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2024 The Schitt’s Creek star forgoes Mykonos or Santorini for life on the tiny Greek island of Milos. Christy Piña, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 Mar. 2024 Patients facing an emergency procedure can forgo these requirements, but those scenarios are rare. Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, 29 Mar. 2024 Sony’s lawsuit took a bizarre detour last year when Judge Pittman ruled that the label could forgo traditional methods of contacting Trefuego and instead simply send him direct messages on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Soundcloud. Bill Donahue, Billboard, 27 Mar. 2024 Instead, the crowd outside and all of those tuning in heard Francis breathing and the wind blowing over the square, as the pope, 87, decided at the last moment to forgo the homily, the sermon that is central to the service, and remain silent. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, 24 Mar. 2024 This has also come at a time when young people are increasingly forgoing work. Ryan Hogg, Fortune Europe, 20 Mar. 2024 Those who drink no more than a couple of glasses of red wine a day, like Sardinian centenarians, may even live longer than those who forgo alcohol completely. Alessandra Signorelli, Vogue, 14 Mar. 2024 Officials feared company promotions could mislead parents and even persuade mothers to forgo breastfeeding, depriving their children of the vital health benefits that come with it. Heather Vogell, ProPublica, 21 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'forgo.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Old English forgān to pass by, forgo, from for- + gān to go

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of forgo was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near forgo

Cite this Entry

“Forgo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants also forego
; forgone -ˈgȯn How to pronounce forgo (audio)
 also  -ˈgän
; forgoing -ˈgō-iŋ How to pronounce forgo (audio)
: to let pass
forgo an opportunity
: go without
forgo lunch

More from Merriam-Webster on forgo

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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