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[fer-bid, fawr-] /fərˈbɪd, fɔr-/
verb (used with object), forbade or forbad or forbid, forbidden or forbid, forbidding.
to command (a person) not to do something, have something, etc., or not to enter some place:
to forbid him entry to the house.
to prohibit (something); make a rule or law against:
to forbid the use of lipstick; to forbid smoking.
to hinder or prevent; make impossible.
to exclude; bar:
Burlesque is forbidden in many cities.
Origin of forbid
before 1000; Middle English forbeden, Old English forbēodan. See for-, bid1
Related forms
forbidder, noun
Can be confused
forbade, forbid, forbidden, forebode (see synonym study at the current entry)
1, 2. interdict. Forbid, inhibit, prohibit, taboo indicate a command to refrain from some action. Forbid, a common and familiar word, usually denotes a direct or personal command of this sort: I forbid you to go. It was useless to forbid children to play in the park. Inhibit implies a checking or hindering of impulses by the mind, sometimes involuntarily: to inhibit one's desires; His responsiveness was inhibited by extreme shyness. Prohibit, a formal or legal word, means usually to forbid by official edict, enactment, or the like: to prohibit the sale of liquor. Taboo, primarily associated with primitive superstition, means to prohibit by common disapproval and by social custom: to taboo a subject in polite conversation. 3. preclude, stop, obviate, deter.


[fer-bad, -beyd, fawr-] /fərˈbæd, -ˈbeɪd, fɔr-/
a simple past tense of forbid.
Also, forbad
[fer-bad, fawr-] /fərˈbæd, fɔr-/ (Show IPA),
Can be confused
forbade, forbid, forbidden, forebode (see synonym study at forbid) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for forbad
Historical Examples
  • This was the feeling which forbad him to retreat from his suicidal purpose.

    Kept in the Dark

    Anthony Trollope
  • But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

    Jesus the Christ James Edward Talmage
  • Was this an assenting answer, or was it the hand of death which forbad an answer?

    Strife and Peace

    Fredrika Bremer
  • But Mamma said he must stay in his box; and forbad my sister to allow him to get on the bed.

    Live Toys

    Emma Davenport
  • The General Assembly forbad the archbishop to enter Glasgow.

  • Your attachments to Arnold forbad this, and I was determined to have you all to myself.

  • Ellis irresistibly wept, but, by a motion of her hand, forbad his approach.

  • They wished also to buy swords and lances, but Karlsefni and Snorri forbad it.

  • The women shrieked, and would have followed him; but We forbad them.

    The Gamester (1753) Edward Moore
  • Perhaps too you forbad my tears; but I am old, madam, and age will be forgetful.

    The Gamester (1753) Edward Moore
British Dictionary definitions for forbad


/fəˈbæd; -ˈbeɪd/
the past tense of forbid


verb (transitive) -bids, -bidding, -bade, -bad, -bidden, -bid
to prohibit (a person) in a forceful or authoritative manner (from doing something or having something)
to make impossible; hinder
to shut out or exclude
God forbid!, may it not happen
Derived Forms
forbiddance, noun
forbidder, noun
Word Origin
Old English forbēodan; related to Old High German farbiotan, Gothic faurbiudan; see for-, bid
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for forbad



Old English forbeodan "forbid, prohibit," from for- "against" + beodan "to command" (see bid). Common Germanic compound (cf. Dutch verbieden, Old High German farbiotan, German verbieten, Old Norse fyrirbjoða, Gothic faurbiudan "to forbid"). Related: Forbade; forbidden.


past tense of forbid.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with forbad


see: god forbid
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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