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[fer-get-fuh l] /fərˈgɛt fəl/
apt to forget; that forgets:
a forgetful person.
heedless or neglectful (often followed by of):
to be forgetful of others.
bringing on oblivion:
forgetful slumber.
Origin of forgetful
Middle English word dating back to 1350-1400; See origin at forget, -ful
Related forms
forgetfully, adverb
forgetfulness, noun
quasi-forgetful, adjective
quasi-forgetfully, adverb
unforgetful, adjective
unforgetfully, adverb
unforgetfulness, noun
1. absent-minded, inattentive, unmindful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for forgetfulness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When souls have loved, there is no falsehood or forgetfulness.

    Other Tales and Sketches Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • But it was not to be drifted up with the sand of forgetfulness!

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • I confess that, when I beheld you in the ante room, I blushed for my past forgetfulness.

    Calderon The Courtier Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • And what a desert for eternal rest, forgetfulness of all the world!

  • All the wealth of this world cannot buy peace for Henry Dunbar, or forgetfulness.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • Her hand had strayed lightly over his hair in that instant of forgetfulness.

    Louisiana Lou William West Winter
  • He would never have lapsed into forgetfulness if the bell had not ceased to ring.

  • The solitude I had found, the forgetfulness, of course, I had not.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine Joseph C. Lincoln
  • This disdain, this forgetfulness, has been carefully fostered by Germany and Russia.

    The Destroyer Burton Egbert Stevenson
British Dictionary definitions for forgetfulness


tending to forget
(often postpositive) foll by of. inattentive (to) or neglectful (of)
(poetic) causing loss of memory
Derived Forms
forgetfully, adverb
forgetfulness, noun
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 forgetfulness



late 14c., from forget + -ful. Related: Forgetfully; forgetfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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