Thesaurus

forswear

verb
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

Near Antonyms for forswear

Antonyms for forswear

See the Dictionary Definition 

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About forswear

Time Traveler for forswear

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About forswear

Thesaurus Entries Near forswear

for sure

forswear

forswearing

See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Forswear.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/forswear. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on forswear

Nglish: Translation of forswear for Spanish Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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