See more synonyms for forget on
verb (used with object), for·got or (Archaic) for·gat; for·got·ten or for·got; for·get·ting.
  1. to cease or fail to remember; be unable to recall: to forget someone's name.
  2. to omit or neglect unintentionally: I forgot to shut the window before leaving.
  3. to leave behind unintentionally; neglect to take: to forget one's keys.
  4. to omit mentioning; leave unnoticed.
  5. to fail to think of; take no note of.
  6. to neglect willfully; disregard or slight.
verb (used without object), for·got or (Archaic) for·gat; for·got·ten or for·got; for·get·ting.
  1. to cease or omit to think of something.
  1. 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. 2018

Examples from the Web for forgetting

Contemporary Examples of forgetting

Historical Examples of forgetting

  • When I look at it I'm to remember that you are forgetting me?

  • The Son of God forgive us, Nora, we're after forgetting his bit of bread.

  • "I think that is rather uncivil," he added, forgetting the warning he had had.

  • There was no forgetting the flamboyant brilliancy of her apparel.


    W. A. Fraser

  • "You hit him," cried Chip, forgetting his prejudice for a moment.

British Dictionary definitions for forgetting


verb -gets, -getting or -got or -gotten or archaic, dialect -got
  1. (when tr, may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to fail to recall (someone or something once known); be unable to remember
  2. (tr; may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to neglect, usually as the result of an unintentional error
  3. (tr) to leave behind by mistake
  4. (tr) to disregard intentionally
  5. (when tr, may take a clause as object) to fail to mention
  6. forget oneself
    1. to act in an improper manner
    2. to be unselfish
    3. to be deep in thought
  7. 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 forgetting



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 forgetting


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.