See more synonyms for forfeit on
  1. a fine; penalty.
  2. an act of forfeiting; forfeiture.
  3. something to which the right is lost, as for commission of a crime or misdeed, neglect of duty, or violation of a contract.
  4. an article deposited in a game because of a mistake and redeemable by a fine or penalty.
  5. 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

1250–1300; Middle English forfet < Old French (past participle of forfaire to commit crime, to lose possession or right through a criminal act) < Medieval Latin forīs factum penalty, past participle of forīs facere to transgress, equivalent to Latin forīs outside, wrongly + facere to make, do
Related formsfor·feit·a·ble, adjectivefor·feit·er, nounnon·for·feit·a·ble, adjectivenon·for·feit·ing, adjectivere·for·feit, verb (used with object)un·for·feit·a·ble, adjectiveun·for·feit·ed, adjectiveun·for·feit·ing, adjective

Synonyms for forfeit

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

Related Words for forfeiting

relinquish, abandon, surrender, renounce, lose, sacrifice, drop

Examples from the Web for forfeiting

Contemporary Examples of forfeiting

  • Our response for eight years has been to allow China to pursue its interests aggressively, while forfeiting our own.

  • Chamberlain, of course, chose Rome over the object of his heart's ache, forfeiting love and dying a broken man.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Passion of Mark Sanford

    Kathleen Parker

    June 27, 2009

Historical Examples of forfeiting

British Dictionary definitions for forfeiting


  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
  3. law something confiscated as a penalty for an offence, breach of contract, etc
  4. (sometimes plural)
    1. a game in which a player has to give up an object, perform a specified action, etc, if he commits a fault
    2. an object so given up
  1. (tr) to lose or be liable to lose in consequence of a mistake, fault, etc
  2. (tr) law
    1. to confiscate as punishment
    2. to surrender (something exacted as a penalty)
  1. surrendered or liable to be surrendered as a penalty
Derived Formsforfeitable, adjectiveforfeiter, noun

Word Origin for 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
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 forfeiting



c.1300, "misdeed," from Old French forfait "crime, punishable offense" (12c.), originally past participle of forfaire "transgress," from for- "outside, beyond" (from Latin foris; see foreign) + faire "to do" (from Latin facere; see factitious). Translating Medieval Latin foris factum. Sense shifted mid-15c. from the crime to the penalty: "something to which the right is lost through a misdeed." As an adjective from late 14c., from Old French forfait.



c.1300, "to lose by misconduct;" see forfeit (n.). Related: Forfeited; forfeiting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper