far be it from one to


One will not do or say something. This disclaimer may be true or false, depending on the speaker or the context. For example, Far be it from him to disagree may be used as a straightforward indication that he is unlikely to disagree, or it may be used ironically to indicate that he actually disagrees quite strongly. [Late 1300s] For a phrase used similarly, see god forbid.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.