for·​sake | \ fər-ˈsāk How to pronounce forsake (audio) , fȯr- \
forsook\ fər-​ˈsu̇k How to pronounce forsook (audio) , fȯr-​ \; forsaken\ fər-​ˈsā-​kən How to pronounce forsaken (audio) , 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



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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 In late January 2019, President Trump was furious with his director of national intelligence for publicly contradicting him about the prospect of convincing North Korea to forsake its arsenal of nuclear bombs and ballistic missiles. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, "Trump’s North Korea gambit flounders," 18 June 2020 Though Tim does eventually learn to appreciate and even love Missy, forsaking his ex for Missy and later begging Missy to take him back, that doesn’t really make up for the awful things the movie does along the way. Kelsea Stahler,, "Why Is Everyone Watching This Confusing New David Spade Movie On Netflix?," 17 May 2020 Toni Kiser, the museum’s assistant director for collections management, said the missives show how the unpredictability and horror of war compelled people to gush about their feelings, forsaking fears of rejection or humiliation. Maria Cramer, New York Times, "Love Letters From World War II Reveal Promises Made and Broken," 13 Feb. 2020 At Calvary Baptist Church in Odenville last Sunday, chairs were spread apart at a distance and handshaking was forsaken as social distancing came to the service. al, "It’s Sunday in the South with no church," 22 Mar. 2020 But the analyst hasn’t forsaken Zoom’s shares completely. Michelle Cheng, Quartz at Work, "The downgrade Wall Street didn’t want to have to make," 8 Apr. 2020 The French hero of the American War of Independence, the Marquis de Lafayette, at first supported the revolution but forsook his command of one of the French armies in 1792, then spent five miserable years in Prussian and Austrian prisons. Lynn Hunt, The New York Review of Books, "More Fraternité Than Liberté," 10 Mar. 2020 To infer that a new Methodist movement would forsake these things reflects false assumptions and misinformation. al, "Methodist split: conservative event organizers respond to critics," 21 Feb. 2020 Trump’s move had sparked some of the most unified criticism of his administration to date, as lawmakers in both parties accused Trump of forsaking longtime Kurdish allies and inviting Russia and Iran to hold even greater sway in the volatile region. Washington Post, "Pence works to reassure Kurdish allies in surprise Iraq trip," 24 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for forsake

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for forsake

Last Updated

3 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Forsake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for forsake


How to pronounce forsake (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of forsake

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


for·​sake | \ fər-ˈsāk How to pronounce forsake (audio) \
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for forsake

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with forsake

Spanish Central: Translation of forsake

Nglish: Translation of forsake for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of forsake for Arabic Speakers

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