View synonyms for forbid


[ fer-bid, fawr- ]

verb (used with object)

, for·bade or for·bad or for·bid, for·bid·den or for·bid, for·bid·ding.
  1. to command (a person) not to do something, have something, etc., or not to enter some place:

    She forbade him entry to the house.

    Synonyms: interdict

  2. to prohibit (something); make a rule or law against:

    to forbid the use of lipstick; to forbid smoking.

    Synonyms: interdict

  3. to hinder or prevent; make impossible.

    Synonyms: deter, obviate, stop, preclude

  4. to exclude; bar:

    Burlesque is forbidden in many cities.


/ fəˈbɪd /


  1. to prohibit (a person) in a forceful or authoritative manner (from doing something or having something)
  2. to make impossible; hinder
  3. to shut out or exclude
  4. God forbid!
    God forbid! may it not happen

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Derived Forms

  • forˈbiddance, noun
  • forˈbidder, noun

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Other Words From

  • for·bidder noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of forbid1

First recorded before 1000; Middle English forbeden, Old English forbēodan. See for-, bid 1

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Word History and Origins

Origin of forbid1

Old English forbēodan ; related to Old High German farbiotan , Gothic faurbiudan ; see for- , bid

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Idioms and Phrases

see god forbid .

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Synonym Study

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.

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Example Sentences

The justices were considering the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which generally forbids suits against foreign states.

You may want, for example, a doorbell cam, but perhaps you live in an apartment building and the landlord forbids any door-lock replacements.

Its residents—like those of two other major cities—are forbidden from venturing outside.

From Time

Notably, Telegram’s very brief terms of service forbid the promotion of violence on public channels but do not mention anything about promoting violence on private channels or groups.

From Vox

Parler CEO John Matze said in a statement the company forbids incitement to violence and had worked to meet Apple and Google’s requirements for content moderation.

And it has a high percentage of women who say their husbands forbid them from working.

It is an article of faith with this man that there won't be any unruly behavior or, God forbid, any scenes.

The laws of physics probably forbid wormholes from existing anyway, according to Thorne.

The other would forbid more stringent background checks than those required by federal law.

I would be cautious to even pick them up and God forbid I take them home.

But step before her with my arms clasping a tin can with a geranium plant r Heaven forbid!

In some states statutes forbid the assignment of such policies for the benefit of creditors.

Many southern states passed resolutions requesting the northern states to forbid the publication of abolitionist papers.

I shall forbid it, I shall distinctly forbid it; it's a duty I owe to dear Georgie.

I shall not write any more of these diary letters unless there are further acute developments, which God forbid.


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Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




for better or for worseforbiddance