forswear

variants also foreswear

Synonym Chooser

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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Thesaurus Entries Near forswear

Cite this Entry

“Forswear.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/forswear. Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

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