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 Unfortunately, the current proposal to move the A’s out of the Coliseum and into a new ballpark at Howard Terminal on the waterfront is essentially forsaking the significant investment in the Coliseum. L.j. Jennings, The Mercury News, "A’s move from Coliseum would be insult to East Oakland residents," 9 Aug. 2019 Even Rupp, who was only delaying college not forsaking it, felt the pressure to conform to that one ideal of college attendance. oregonlive, "In Oregon, academic pressures, existential fears help explain rising rates of suicide, mental health conditions," 8 Sep. 2019 Both habitually forsake the hard work that makes democracy possible. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Great Lie of the Right-Wing Populists," 30 Aug. 2019 The riposte to cynicism starts with politicians who forsake outrage for hope. The Economist, "The corrupting of democracy," 29 Aug. 2019 But her end, as with those of James Dean and Bobby Kennedy, was tragically American, a promise forsaken, a dream denied. Jeffrey Fleishman,, "How Sharon Tate transfixed Hollywood, 50 years before ‘Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood’," 26 July 2019 In a dynamic system firms have to forsake at least some stakeholders: a number need to shrink in order to reallocate capital and workers from obsolete industries to new ones. The Economist, "What companies are for," 22 Aug. 2019 This was the era when artists started to forsake aristocratic and institutional patronage—bucking the bias of the annual Salon while hungering for inclusion in it—in favor of support from a burgeoning middle class. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "Renoir’s Problem Nudes," 19 Aug. 2019 Still, Cara Delevingne and Ashley Benson are here to remind us that romance is not yet something to completely forsake. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Cara Delevingne Said the Cutest Things About Her Relationship with Ashley Benson," 13 Aug. 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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Statistics for forsake

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for forsake

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

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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

Comments on forsake

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a calculated move

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