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forfend

[fawr-fend]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to defend, secure, or protect.
  2. to fend off, avert, or prevent.
  3. Archaic. forbid.
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Also forefend.

Origin of forfend

First recorded in 1350–1400, forfend is from the Middle English word forfenden. See for-, fend
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for forfend

Historical Examples

  • Forfend me from a man who weighs every expression with Scotch prudence.

    The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume I (of II)

    Charles Darwin

  • Of all travelling companionship, forfend us from that of a married man!

  • And allowance must likewise be made for thy connubial grief which caused thee to forfend thy wife's body from the demon.

  • Is it not rather the blind brute instinct of self-protection, forfend what may?


British Dictionary definitions for forfend

forfend

forefend

verb (tr)
  1. US to protect or secure
  2. obsolete to prohibit or prevent
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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

Word Origin and History for forfend

v.

also forefend, late 14c., "to protect, prohibit; to avert, prevent," a hybrid from for- + fend, from Latin defendere "to ward off."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper