• synonyms


[fawr-bawr, -bohr]
See more synonyms for forbore on Thesaurus.com
  1. simple past tense of forbear1.
Show More


verb (used with object), for·bore, for·borne, for·bear·ing.
  1. to refrain or abstain from; desist from.
  2. to keep back; withhold.
  3. Obsolete. to endure.
Show More
verb (used without object), for·bore, for·borne, for·bear·ing.
  1. to refrain; hold back.
  2. to be patient or self-controlled when subject to annoyance or provocation.
Show More

Origin of forbear1

before 900; Middle English forberen, Old English forberan. See for-, bear1
Related formsfor·bear·er, nounfor·bear·ing·ly, adverbnon·for·bear·ing, adjectivenon·for·bear·ing·ly, adverbun·for·bear·ing, adjective


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for forbore

Historical Examples

  • He forbore touching that mystery out of love, timidity, and indolence.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • He was impelled to recapitulate his injunctions; but he forbore.

    The Lion's Skin

    Rafael Sabatini

  • So I forbore to predict what would be his ultimate form of beauty.

  • De Windt shook his head, but forbore to utter his incredulity.

    The Genius

    Margaret Horton Potter

  • How I longed to kick, if it were but my toe at them, and I forbore!

    In Kings' Byways

    Stanley J. Weyman

British Dictionary definitions for forbore


  1. the past tense of forbear 1
Show More


verb -bears, -bearing, -bore or -borne
  1. (when intr, often foll by from or an infinitive) to cease or refrain (from doing something)
  2. archaic to tolerate or endure (misbehaviour, mistakes, etc)
Show More
Derived Formsforbearer, nounforbearingly, adverb

Word Origin

Old English forberan; related to Gothic frabairan to endure


  1. a variant spelling of forebear
Show More
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 forbore

past tense of forbear (v.).

Show More



"to abstain," Old English forberan "bear up against, control one's feelings, endure," from for- + beran "to bear" (see bear (v.)). Related: Forbearer; forbearing; forbore.

Show More



"ancestor," late 15c., from fore "before" + be-er "one who exists;" agent noun from be.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper