- to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); absolve.
- to give up all claim on account of; remit (a debt, obligation, etc.).
- to grant pardon to (a person).
- to cease to feel resentment against: to forgive one's enemies.
- to cancel an indebtedness or liability of: to forgive the interest owed on a loan.
- to pardon an offense or an offender.
Origin of forgive
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for forgive
When a popular Sunni televangelist does it, to forgive is divine.Disco Mullah Blasphemy Row Highlights Pakistan’s Hypocrisy
December 21, 2014
I do not forgive those who saw the attacks and have refused to cooperate with law enforcement.I Was Gang Raped at a UVA Frat 30 Years Ago, and No One Did Anything
December 16, 2014
It turns out audiences will forgive such reports when your movies are good.It’s Time to Stop Hating Katherine Heigl
November 17, 2014
In the Church of Sorkin, this is the prayer of humility: forgive them, for they know not what they do.‘Newsroom’ Premiere: Aaron Sorkin Puts CNN on Blast Over the Boston Bombing
November 10, 2014
The second half of Interstellar is basically one giant SPOILER ALERT, so forgive the nebulousness.‘Interstellar’ Is Wildly Ambitious, Very Flawed, and Absolutely Worth Seeing
November 7, 2014
I forgive you, if you are sorry for the fault, and my arms are ready to receive you.
Dearest Madam, forgive me: it was always my pride and my pleasure to obey you.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
Some things seem the harder to forgive the greater the love.Weighed and Wanting
"I forgive thee from my heart, dear brother," piped the blind man.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
Like a woman, he found it difficult to forgive one who had injured those he loved.The Man Shakespeare
- to cease to blame or hold resentment against (someone or something)
- to grant pardon for (a mistake, wrongdoing, etc)
- (tr) to free or pardon (someone) from penalty
- (tr) to free from the obligation of (a debt, payment, etc)
Word Origin and History for forgive
Old English forgiefan "give, grant, allow; forgive," also "to give up" and "to give in marriage;" from for- "completely" + giefan "give" (see give).
The modern sense of "to give up desire or power to punish" is from use of the compound as a Germanic loan-translation of Latin perdonare (cf. Old Saxon fargeban, Dutch vergeven, German vergeben, Gothic fragiban; see pardon). Related: Forgave; forgiven; forgiving.