verb (used with object), for·got or (Archaic) for·gat; for·got·ten or for·got; for·get·ting.

verb (used without object), for·got or (Archaic) for·gat; for·got·ten or for·got; for·get·ting.

to cease or omit to think of something.


    forget oneself, to say or do something improper or unbefitting one's rank, position, or character.

Origin of forget

before 900; for- + get; replacing Middle English foryeten, Old English forg(i)etan; cognate with Old Saxon fargetan, Old High German firgezzan
Related formsfor·get·ta·ble, adjectivefor·get·ter, nounun·for·get·ting, adjective

Usage note

Both forgot and forgotten are used as the past participle of forget : Many have already forgot (or forgotten ) the hard times of the Depression. Only forgotten is used attributively: half-forgotten memories. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for forgettable

nameless, bland, plain, stark, unadorned, characterless, faceless

Examples from the Web for forgettable

Contemporary Examples of forgettable

Historical Examples of forgettable

  • "I used to live here," he said, ashamed to be so forgettable.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • All the time there was a steady bruise at the bottom of his soul, but so steady as to be forgettable.

    The Rainbow

    D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

  • They are so much more passive and forgettable than luggage—abroad that is.

    The Passionate Friends

    Herbert George Wells

  • In the afternoon we moved our headquarters back a mile or so to a commodious and moderately clean farm with a forgettable name.

  • All that remained was to draw a veil as decently as might be over the forgettable humiliation.

    The Hermit of Far End

    Margaret Pedler

British Dictionary definitions for forgettable


verb -gets, -getting or -got or -gotten or archaic, dialect -got

(when tr, may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to fail to recall (someone or something once known); be unable to remember
(tr; may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to neglect, usually as the result of an unintentional error
(tr) to leave behind by mistake
(tr) to disregard intentionally
(when tr, may take a clause as object) to fail to mention
forget oneself
  1. to act in an improper manner
  2. to be unselfish
  3. to be deep in thought
forget it! an exclamation of annoyed or forgiving dismissal of a matter or topic
Derived Formsforgettable, adjectiveforgetter, noun

Word Origin for forget

Old English forgietan; related to Old Frisian forgeta, Old Saxon fargetan, Old High German firgezzan
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 forgettable

1827, from forget + -able. First attested in a translation from German by Carlyle.



Old English forgietan, from for-, used here with negative force, "away, amiss, opposite" + gietan "to grasp" (see get). To "un-get," hence "to lose" from the mind. A common Germanic construction (cf. Old Saxon fargetan, Old Frisian forjeta, Dutch vergeten, Old High German firgezzan, German vergessen "to forget"). The literal sense would be "to lose (one's) grip on," but that is not recorded in any Germanic language. Related: Forgetting; forgot; forgotten.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with forgettable


In addition to the idiom beginning with forget

  • forget it
  • forget oneself

also see:

  • forgive and forget
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.