[ fawr-bair ]
/ fɔrˈbɛər /

verb (used with object), for·bore, for·borne, for·bear·ing.

to refrain or abstain from; desist from.
to keep back; withhold.
Obsolete. to endure.

verb (used without object), for·bore, for·borne, for·bear·ing.

to refrain; hold back.
to be patient or self-controlled when subject to annoyance or provocation.

Nearby words

  1. forasmuchas,
  2. foray,
  3. forb,
  4. forbad,
  5. forbade,
  6. forbearance,
  7. forbearing,
  8. forbes,
  9. forbes disease,
  10. forbes-robertson

Origin of forbear

before 900; Middle English forberen, Old English forberan. See for-, bear1

Related forms


[ fawr-bair ]
/ ˈfɔrˌbɛər /

noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for forbear

British Dictionary definitions for forbear


/ (fɔːˈbɛə) /

verb -bears, -bearing, -bore or -borne

(when intr, often foll by from or an infinitive) to cease or refrain (from doing something)
archaic to tolerate or endure (misbehaviour, mistakes, etc)
Derived Formsforbearer, nounforbearingly, adverb

Word Origin for forbear

Old English forberan; related to Gothic frabairan to endure


a variant spelling of forebear
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 forbear
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper