- to command (a person) not to do something, have something, etc., or not to enter some place: to forbid him entry to the house.
- to prohibit (something); make a rule or law against: to forbid the use of lipstick; to forbid smoking.
- to hinder or prevent; make impossible.
- to exclude; bar: Burlesque is forbidden in many cities.
Origin of forbid
SynonymsSee more synonyms for forbid on Thesaurus.com
1, 2. interdict. Forbid, inhibit, prohibit, taboo indicate a command to refrain from some action. Forbid, a common and familiar word, usually denotes a direct or personal command of this sort: I forbid you to go. It was useless to forbid children to play in the park. Inhibit implies a checking or hindering of impulses by the mind, sometimes involuntarily: to inhibit one's desires; His responsiveness was inhibited by extreme shyness. Prohibit, a formal or legal word, means usually to forbid by official edict, enactment, or the like: to prohibit the sale of liquor. Taboo, primarily associated with primitive superstition, means to prohibit by common disapproval and by social custom: to taboo a subject in polite conversation. 3. preclude, stop, obviate, deter.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for forbid
It is an article of faith with this man that there won't be any unruly behavior or, God forbid, any scenes.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
I would be cautious to even pick them up and God forbid I take them home.The Winning Gay Subtlety of ‘Hello Mr.’
September 26, 2014
You can stab a woman multiple times with a knife to become a man, but God forbid you sleep with her.A Fantasy Titan Invades the YA Kingdom
July 18, 2014
“You go to Heritage, God forbid,” he says of the conservative think tank.Ralph Nader and Grover Norquist: Washington’s Most Unlikely Bromance
May 23, 2014
If, God forbid, we were ever not to be together, I respect him so much as the father of my children.Why Did Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin Split Six Days After Closing On A $14M Mansion?
March 26, 2014
How often, Clary, must I forbid your unsisterly reflections?
I suppose you will write to the oddities, since you are forbid to see them.
Will he deny me the visits of my dearest friend, and forbid me to correspond with her?
For they were in hopes of prevailing upon my father to forbid his visits.
I forbid you, on pain of death, to make any more attempts to get the Golden Fleece.Tanglewood Tales
- to prohibit (a person) in a forceful or authoritative manner (from doing something or having something)
- to make impossible; hinder
- to shut out or exclude
- God forbid! may it not happen
Old English forbēodan; related to Old High German farbiotan, Gothic faurbiudan; see for-, bid
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 forbid
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with forbid
see god forbid.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.