for·​sooth | \ fər-ˈsüth How to pronounce forsooth (audio) \

Definition of forsooth

: in truth : indeed often used to imply contempt or doubt

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Although it is still a part of the English language, forsooth is now primarily used in humorous or ironic contexts, or in a manner intended to play off the word's archaic vibe. Forsooth is formed from the combination of the preposition for and the noun sooth. Sooth survives as both a noun (meaning "truth" or "reality") and an adjective (meaning "true," "sweet," or "soft"), though it is rarely used by contemporary speakers. It primarily lives on in English in the verb soothe (which originally meant "to show, assert, or confirm the truth of") and in the noun soothsayer (that is, "truthsayer"), a name for someone who can predict the future.

Examples of forsooth in a Sentence

forsooth, the rumor is true: this lovely lass and I are getting married! you're getting married without a penny to your name—a pretty story forsooth!

First Known Use of forsooth

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for forsooth

Middle English for soth, from Old English forsōth, from for + sōth sooth

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

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Cite this Entry

“Forsooth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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