[ fer-bid-ing, fawr- ]
See synonyms for forbidding on
  1. grim; unfriendly; hostile; sinister: his forbidding countenance.

  2. dangerous; threatening: forbidding clouds; forbidding cliffs.

Origin of forbidding

First recorded in 1710–15; forbid + -ing2

Other words from forbidding

  • for·bid·ding·ly, adverb
  • for·bid·ding·ness, noun
  • un·for·bid·ding, adjective

Words that may be confused with forbidding

Words Nearby forbidding Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use forbidding in a sentence

  • Some peculiar lines between these contracted brows gave a character of ferocity to this forbidding and sensual face.

    Checkmate | Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
  • She fixed her imploring eyes on the Virgin's face and on the saints; but all seemed to her to wear a forbidding look.

    Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
  • But at Orleans he received an angry message from Bonaparte forbidding him to return to Paris.

    Napoleon's Marshals | R. P. Dunn-Pattison
  • In the commands forbidding Israel to enter into covenant with the Canaanites, or their gods, the phrase is used.

  • On July 19 a proclamation was issued forbidding the possession of firearms without licence.

    The Philippine Islands | John Foreman

British Dictionary definitions for forbidding


/ (fəˈbɪdɪŋ) /

  1. hostile or unfriendly

  2. dangerous or ominous

Derived forms of forbidding

  • forbiddingly, adverb
  • forbiddingness, noun

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