the act of forbearing; a refraining from something.
forbearing conduct or quality; patient endurance; self-control.
an abstaining from the enforcement of a right.
a creditor's giving of indulgence after the day originally fixed for payment.

Origin of forbearance

First recorded in 1570–80; forbear1 + -ance
Related formsnon·for·bear·ance, noun

Synonyms for forbearance Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for forbearance

Contemporary Examples of forbearance

Historical Examples of forbearance

  • It was the greatest stretch of forbearance I could practise.

    Lady Susan

    Jane Austen

  • You must suppress your gratitude, and endeavour to forget my forbearance in the matter of the bracelet.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

  • He did not understand the law or appreciate their forbearance.


    James Anthony Froude

  • There is a limit to forbearance and I considered that limit reached.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • When the memory of it returns to me I marvel at my own forbearance.

British Dictionary definitions for forbearance



the act of forbearing
self-control; patience
law abstention from or postponement of the enforcement of a legal right, esp by a creditor allowing his debtor time to pay
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 forbearance

1570s, originally legal, in reference to enforcement of debt obligations, from forbear (v.) + -ance. General sense of "refraining from" is from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper