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


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

That was about the only time Matsuyama’s putter forsake him Thursday during the opening round of the 3M Open. Dane Mizutani, Twin Cities, "3M Open: Hideki Matsuyama’s putting prowess has him in contention," 4 July 2019 And the breadth and duration of this boycott, whose success caught many by surprise, showed just how many whites were committed to protesting their sense that a cultural touchstone had forsaken them. New York Times, "Boycott by Whites of South African Restaurant Reflects Growing Sense of Grievance," 29 June 2019 Because at some point their hustle will demand forsaking an enlightened business model, will necessitate treating another human as other than human, will present them with moral tests. Mitchell S. Jackson, Harper's magazine, "Opportunity Cost," 10 Feb. 2019 Six months after opening in that forsaken space, the upmarket Mexican restaurant is still mostly empty, mostly mediocre and mostly clueless. Mike Sutter,, "Review: CoCo Bongo a poor excuse for Mexican food in San Antonio’s Stone Oak," 27 June 2019 Immigrants and their rights have been forsaken by both parties. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "Children Remain in Dangerous Conditions on the Texas Border," 25 June 2019 Upon confirming Hughes’ Jewishness, one of Kay’s sidekicks, Peter Rosenberg, was on board as a fan, forsaking his former favorite, Pittsburgh Penguins’ great Sidney Crosby (who’s not Jewish). Marc Brodsky,, "Jack Hughes first Jewish player to be No. 1 overall pick in NHL draft," 25 June 2019 The true hustler strategizes, intuits when to forsake the short-term for long-term, learns the rules of their enterprise, studies those who previously plied the same hustle. Mitchell S. Jackson, Harper's magazine, "Opportunity Cost," 10 Feb. 2019 Plus, forsaking cash can be more difficult for the bankless, many of whom have been through economic crises and are ineligible for credit cards and bank accounts. David Gelles, New York Times, "Going Cashless: My Journey Into the Future," 30 Mar. 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

14 Jul 2019

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 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

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).


to complain fretfully

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