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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have sparked widespread, often galvanizing change, but in this venture, Darling and Currie forgo dwelling on past wounds or joining existing crusades., "How rock veterans from Runaways, Fanny joined forces," 29 July 2019 The #MeToo and Times Up movements have sparked widespread, often galvanizing change, but in this venture, Darling and Currie forgo dwelling on past wounds or joining existing crusades. Katherine Turman, Los Angeles Times, "How two fearless rock pioneers survived the ’70s and found each other four decades later," 25 July 2019 The 42-year-old defendant had offered to forgo a murder trial in exchange for a sentence of life prison without parole. Gabrielle Banks, Houston Chronicle, "Houston judge questions capability of federal prosecutor in San Jacinto County death penalty case," 19 June 2019 Now, Schechter is at the forefront of a genre that most are rushing to catch up with, forgoing traditional publishing in favor of faster platforms—podcasts, YouTube videos, even TV docuseries. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The Time of True Crime," 26 Apr. 2019 Hatchbacks Hatchbacks forgo the traditional trunk of a sedan in favor of a rear liftgate that opens up to reveal sometimes surprisingly large cargo bays. Kirk Seaman, Car and Driver, "2019 Editors' Choice Awards: The Best Sedans, Hatchbacks, Coupes, and Convertibles," 30 Jan. 2019 Sacramento politicians accuse the Trump administration of ignoring science and forgoing expert, independent review in pursuing its environmental and energy agenda. Steven Sexton, WSJ, "The Phony Numbers Behind California’s Solar Mandate," 12 Aug. 2018 That outcome was confirmed when two Louisville juniors, wing Deng Adel and big man Ray Spalding, decided to forgo their final seasons of eligibility in favor of entering the draft. Chris Johnson,, "The Schools That Won and Lost in the NBA Draft's Biggest Decisions," 31 May 2018 That meant forgoing artificial items and using more natural items. Michael Walsh,, "Glastonbury Resident Opens Natural Living Store In West Hartford," 11 Sep. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about forgo

Statistics for forgo

Last Updated

15 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for forgo

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for forgo



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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


friendly or mild

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!