• synonyms


See more synonyms for forfend on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to defend, secure, or protect.
  2. to fend off, avert, or prevent.
  3. Archaic. forbid.
Show More
Also forefend.

Origin of forfend

First recorded in 1350–1400, forfend is from the Middle English word forfenden. See for-, fend
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

forestall, preclude, counteract, hinder, prevent, avert, prohibit, cease, deter, impede, exclude, obviate, thwart, forbid, restrict, hamper, halt, avoid, restrain, stop

Examples from the Web for forfend

Historical Examples

  • Forfend me from a man who weighs every expression with Scotch prudence.

    The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume I (of II)

    Charles Darwin

  • Of all travelling companionship, forfend us from that of a married man!

  • And allowance must likewise be made for thy connubial grief which caused thee to forfend thy wife's body from the demon.

  • Is it not rather the blind brute instinct of self-protection, forfend what may?

British Dictionary definitions for forfend



verb (tr)
  1. US to protect or secure
  2. obsolete to prohibit or prevent
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 forfend


also forefend, late 14c., "to protect, prohibit; to avert, prevent," a hybrid from for- + fend, from Latin defendere "to ward off."

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper