[ fawr-fit ]
See synonyms for: forfeitforfeitedforfeiting on

  1. a fine; penalty.

  2. an act of forfeiting; forfeiture.

  1. something to which the right is lost, as for commission of a crime or misdeed, neglect of duty, or violation of a contract.

  2. an article deposited in a game because of a mistake and redeemable by a fine or penalty.

  3. forfeits, (used with a singular verb) a game in which such articles are taken from the players.

verb (used with object)
  1. to subject to seizure as a forfeit.

  2. to lose or become liable to lose, as in consequence of crime, fault, or breach of engagement.

  1. lost or subject to loss by forfeiture.

Origin of forfeit

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English forfet, from Old French (past participle of forfaire “to commit crime, to lose possession or right through a criminal act”), from Medieval Latin forīs factum “penalty,” past participle of forīs facere “to transgress,” equivalent to Latin forīs “outside, wrongly” + facere “to make, do”

Other words for forfeit

Other words from forfeit

  • for·feit·a·ble, adjective
  • for·feit·er, noun
  • non·for·feit·a·ble, adjective
  • non·for·feit·ing, adjective
  • re·for·feit, verb (used with object)
  • un·for·feit·a·ble, adjective
  • un·for·feit·ing, adjective

Words Nearby forfeit Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use forfeit in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for forfeit


/ (ˈfɔːfɪt) /

  1. something lost or given up as a penalty for a fault, mistake, etc

  2. the act of losing or surrendering something in this manner

  1. law something confiscated as a penalty for an offence, breach of contract, etc

  2. (sometimes plural)

    • a game in which a player has to give up an object, perform a specified action, etc, if he commits a fault

    • an object so given up

  1. (tr) to lose or be liable to lose in consequence of a mistake, fault, etc

  2. (tr) law

    • to confiscate as punishment

    • to surrender (something exacted as a penalty)

  1. surrendered or liable to be surrendered as a penalty

Origin of forfeit

C13: from Old French forfet offence, from forfaire to commit a crime, from Medieval Latin foris facere to act outside (what is lawful), from Latin foris outside + facere to do

Derived forms of forfeit

  • forfeitable, adjective
  • forfeiter, 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