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

Definition of forsake

transitive verb

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for forsake



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 While there are ways and room to improve, Kleiman does not want to forsake short-term success for long-term goals. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, 14 Jan. 2022 The Ravens boast the NFL’s best defense against the run, which could cause McVay to forsake balance and focus on exploiting what is the league’s worst defense against the pass. Los Angeles Times, 1 Jan. 2022 The willingness to forsake partisanship in the pursuit of moral truth: Here is a partial remedy for the political and cultural rifts that seem to threaten our democratic republic. Joseph Loconte, WSJ, 9 Dec. 2021 The irony is that only a few short years ago it was considered a joke that the average working class American could forsake their job and reinvent themselves as a tech professional. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 6 Nov. 2021 Republicans make no commitments beyond a promise that people can keep their guns and forsake vaccine mandates. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 15 Nov. 2021 Micah and Steffi had met playing soccer, and Harden teased them that Hadley might forsake the pitch for musical theatre. Gideon Lewis-kraus, The New Yorker, 6 Sep. 2021 Ukraine’s hands are tied and it is thus forced to forsake its desire to identify with the West and succumb to Russia’s influence. Ken Silverstein, Forbes, 15 Sep. 2021 The brand didn’t forsake a focus on its less-famous, but no less distinctive, Octo Roma collection. Paige Reddinger, Robb Report, 3 Sep. 2021

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.

See More

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

Learn More About forsake

Time Traveler for forsake

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near forsake

for safekeeping



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for forsake

Last Updated

17 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Forsake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for forsake



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on forsake

Nglish: Translation of forsake for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of forsake for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!