for·​sake | \fər-ˈsāk, fȯr-\
forsook\fər-​ˈsu̇k, fȯr-​ \; forsaken\fər-​ˈsā-​kən, fȯr-​ \; forsaking

Definition of forsake 

transitive verb

: to renounce or turn away from entirely friends have forsaken her forsook the theater for politics

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Synonyms & Antonyms for forsake


abandon, desert, leave, maroon, quit, strand



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Choose the Right Synonym for forsake

abandon, desert, forsake mean to leave without intending to return. abandon suggests that the thing or person left may be helpless without protection. abandoned children desert implies that the object left may be weakened but not destroyed by one's absence. a deserted town forsake suggests an action more likely to bring impoverishment or bereavement to that which is forsaken than its exposure to physical dangers. a forsaken lover

Examples of forsake in a Sentence

forsaking most of our possessions, we evacuated just before the hurricane struck

Recent Examples on the Web

The offensive line bullied the Rams in Week 5 and bulldozed the Raiders on Sunday, re-establishing the previously forsaken running game in the process. Matt Calkins, The Seattle Times, "It’s too early to call the Seahawks good, but they might be good enough for the playoffs," 15 Oct. 2018 In the singles and pairs world, pristine edges can be forsaken for jumps and lifts, but one skater who pays attention to the details in between is the American Adam Rippon. Gia Kourlas, New York Times, "French Olympic Ice Dancers Make Skating as Ethereal as Ballet," 20 Feb. 2018 Will Matt forsake his moral code never to kill someone in order to take out what may be an otherwise insurmountable threat? Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Wilson Fisk is back and better than ever in season 3 of Daredevil," 12 Nov. 2018 The Scorecard Westport Country Playhouse has been doing a lot of confrontational or politically active dramas in recent seasons, but the theater has never forsaken farce. Christopher Arnott,, "Little Theatre Of Manchester, Curtain Call Announce New Seasons," 26 June 2018 Investors have forsaken active money managers in favor of low-cost passive investments, so when major market benchmarks rearrange their lineups, those changes reverberate throughout the stock market. Asjylyn Loder, WSJ, "Why $39 Billion of Stocks Traded in One Second on Friday," 24 June 2018 Paul and Juicy forsake their vintage-horror-soundtrack synths for ones that belong in ‘80s action flicks, then toss those into a busy mix with nu-metal guitar presets and Eurodance samples. Patrick Lyons, Billboard, "10 Years Ago, Three 6 Mafia's 'Last 2 Walk' Almost Ruined Their Legacy," 24 June 2018 Huntington was appalled both by zealous civilians trying to politicize the military, like Senator Joseph R. McCarthy attacking the Army, and by soldiers forsaking their professionalism by turning political, like Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Gary J. Bass, New York Times, "Should We Worry About Trump’s Fawning Admiration of the Military?," 29 June 2018 Waters is a 79-year-old black woman, an old-school playa whose decades of congressional pedigree haven’t forsaken her radical black womanhood. Terrell Jermaine Starr, The Root, "Trump and Friends Come for Maxine Waters, a Black Woman Who Doesn’t Give a Damn About Your Calls for Civility," 25 June 2018

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for forsake

Middle English, from Old English forsacan, from for- + sacan to dispute; akin to Old English sacu action at law — more at sake

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Statistics for forsake

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for forsake

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

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More Definitions for forsake



English Language Learners Definition of forsake

: to give up or leave (someone or something) entirely


for·​sake | \fər-ˈsāk \
forsook\-​ˈsu̇k \; forsaken\-​ˈsā-​kən \; forsaking

Kids Definition of forsake

: to give up or leave entirely Don't forsake your friends.

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More from Merriam-Webster on forsake

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with forsake

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for forsake

Spanish Central: Translation of forsake

Nglish: Translation of forsake for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of forsake for Arabic Speakers

Comments on forsake

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


a knickknack or trinket

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