forswear was our Word of the Day on 10/17/2014. Hear the podcast!
Examples of forswear in a sentence
She forswore her allegiance to the old regime.
He foreswore cigarettes as his New Year's resolution.
Did You Know?
Forswear (which is also sometimes spelled foreswear) is the modern English equivalent of the Old English forswerian. It can suggest denial ("[Thou] would'st forswear thy own hand and seal" - John Arbuthnot, John Bull) or perjury ("Is it the interest of any man … to lie, forswear himself, indulge hatred, seek desperate revenge, or do murder?" - Charles Dickens, American Notes). But in current use, it most often has to do with giving something up, as in "the warring parties agreed to forswear violence" and "she refused to forswear her principles." The word abjure is often used as a synonym of forswear, though with less emphasis on the suggestion of perjury or betrayal of the beliefs that one holds dear.
Origin and Etymology of forswear
Middle English forsweren, from Old English forswerian, from for- + swerian to swear
First Known Use: before 12th century
Synonym Discussion of forswear
FORSWEAR Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of forswear for English Language Learners
: to promise to give up (something) or to stop doing (something)
Seen and Heard
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