[ fawr-bair ]
/ fɔrˈbɛər /

verb (used with object), for·bore, for·borne, for·bear·ing.

to refrain or abstain from; desist from.
to keep back; withhold.
Obsolete. to endure.

verb (used without object), for·bore, for·borne, for·bear·ing.

to refrain; hold back.
to be patient or self-controlled when subject to annoyance or provocation.

Origin of forbear

before 900; Middle English forberen, Old English forberan. See for-, bear1


OTHER WORDS FROM forbear Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for forborn

  • The English naturalists would have nothing to do with theology, "these two subjects, God and the Soul, being only forborn."

    The Evolution of States|J. M. Robertson
  • In anxious expectation of this news I had forborn to retire to rest.

    Four Years in France|Henry Digby Beste
  • Enfering any conversation with the Steersner and Pilotes is desired to be forborn.

British Dictionary definitions for forborn (1 of 2)

/ (fɔːˈbɛə) /

verb -bears, -bearing, -bore or -borne

(when intr, often foll by from or an infinitive) to cease or refrain (from doing something)
archaic to tolerate or endure (misbehaviour, mistakes, etc)

Derived forms of forbear

forbearer, nounforbearingly, adverb

Word Origin for forbear

Old English forberan; related to Gothic frabairan to endure

British Dictionary definitions for forborn (2 of 2)

/ (ˈfɔːˌbɛə) /


a variant spelling of forebear
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