variants: also foreswear

Synonyms & Antonyms of forswear

to solemnly or formally reject or go back on (as something formerly adhered to)
  • the new government would have to forswear the use of torture if it wished to be granted full diplomatic recognition

Synonyms for forswear

Words Related to forswear

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Antonyms for forswear

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Frequently Asked Questions About forswear

How is the word forswear different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of forswear are abjure, recant, renounce, and retract. While all these words mean "to withdraw one's word or professed belief," forswear may add an implication of perjury or betrayal.

I cannot forswear my principles

When might abjure be a better fit than forswear?

The words abjure and forswear can be used in similar contexts, but abjure implies a firm and final rejecting or abandoning often made under oath.

abjured the errors of his former faith

When would recant be a good substitute for forswear?

While in some cases nearly identical to forswear, recant stresses the withdrawing or denying of something professed or taught.

if they recant they will be spared

When can renounce be used instead of forswear?

In some situations, the words renounce and forswear are roughly equivalent. However, renounce may carry the meaning of disclaim or disown.

renounced abstract art and turned to portrait painting

When is retract a more appropriate choice than forswear?

The synonyms retract and forswear are sometimes interchangeable, but retract applies to the withdrawing of a promise, an offer, or an accusation.

the newspaper had to retract the story

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Time Traveler for forswear

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

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Cite this Entry

“Forswear.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on forswear

Dictionary: Definition of forswear

Nglish: Translation of forswear for Spanish Speakers

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