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

Definition of forgo

transitive verb

1 : to give up the enjoyment or advantage of : do without never forwent an opportunity of honest profit— R. L. Stevenson decided to forgo dessert for a few days
2 archaic : forsake

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Other Words from forgo

forgoer \ fȯr-​ˈgō-​ər How to pronounce forgoer (audio) \ 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 McCray sees this as an exciting opportunity to explore custom craft, wherein bars forgo cocktail menus altogether in favor of a conversation and impromptu mixing. Fortune, "5 Cocktail Trends to Watch in 2020," 7 Dec. 2019 The world is not on fire in Mullen’s pictures, which mostly forgo bright colors and deep blacks. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, "In the galleries: ‘Sea of Change’ exhibition sets the voyage on a different course," 6 Dec. 2019 The government is developing a distribution system involving the pharmacy chains CVS (CVS) Health, Walgreens (WBA), and Rite Aid, which will forgo charging dispensing fees for these prescriptions, bringing the cost down further, Azar said. Helen Branswell, STAT, "Trump administration will provide HIV prevention drug for free to uninsured in new program," 3 Dec. 2019 Thirty percent of undergraduates never fill out this form, forgoing the chance to receive financial aid; 30 percent of them would have qualified for a federal Pell Grant, research supported by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences found. NBC News, "California takes lead in helping students get to college — and stay there," 3 Dec. 2019 Better yet, forgo the wrapping paper altogether and use decorative boxes, tins and baskets that can be reused year after year. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, "Americans produce 25% more trash during the holidays. These tips might help.," 2 Dec. 2019 Tonight the artists went playful, forgoing drop dead glamour for more personal quirky (and delightful) options. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "The Best Dressed Stars at the 2019 American Music Awards," 25 Nov. 2019 Conservative Edition News and Liberal Edition News forgo bylines. Nicole Perlroth, New York Times, "A Former Fox News Executive Divides Americans Using Russian Tactics," 21 Nov. 2019 Workers who declined the offer would be considered to have voluntarily resigned, forgoing severance payments. Washington Post, "WeWork cuts nearly 20% of workforce in restructuring effort," 21 Nov. 2019

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

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

History and Etymology for forgo

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

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Time Traveler for forgo

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for forgo

Last Updated

10 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Forgo.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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How to pronounce forgo (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of forgo

: to give up the use or enjoyment of (something)


variants: also forego \ fȯr-​ˈgō \
forwent also forewent\ -​ˈwent \; forgone also foregone\ -​ˈgȯn \; forgoing also foregoing

Kids Definition of forgo

: to give up the use or enjoyment of Don't forgo this opportunity.

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More from Merriam-Webster on forgo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for forgo

Spanish Central: Translation of forgo

Nglish: Translation of forgo for Spanish Speakers

Comments on forgo

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


heavy with or as if with moisture

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