forgive

[fer-giv]
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verb (used with object), for·gave, for·giv·en, for·giv·ing.
  1. to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); absolve.
  2. to give up all claim on account of; remit (a debt, obligation, etc.).
  3. to grant pardon to (a person).
  4. to cease to feel resentment against: to forgive one's enemies.
  5. to cancel an indebtedness or liability of: to forgive the interest owed on a loan.
verb (used without object), for·gave, for·giv·en, for·giv·ing.
  1. to pardon an offense or an offender.

Origin of forgive

before 900; for- + give; replacing Middle English foryiven, Old English forgiefan
Related formsfor·giv·a·ble, adjectivefor·giv·er, nounhalf-for·giv·en, adjectivepre·for·give, verb (used with object) pre·for·gave, pre·for·giv·en, pre·for·giv·ing.un·for·giv·a·ble, adjectiveun·for·giv·a·ble·ness, nounun·for·giv·a·bly, adverbun·for·giv·en, adjective
Can be confusedcommute forgive pardon (see synonym study at pardon)

Synonyms for forgive

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1. See excuse. 3. absolve, acquit.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for forgive

forgive

verb -gives, -giving, -gave or -given
  1. to cease to blame or hold resentment against (someone or something)
  2. to grant pardon for (a mistake, wrongdoing, etc)
  3. (tr) to free or pardon (someone) from penalty
  4. (tr) to free from the obligation of (a debt, payment, etc)
Derived Formsforgivable, adjectiveforgivably, adverbforgiver, noun

Word Origin for forgive

Old English forgiefan; see for-, give
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 forgive
v.

Old English forgiefan "give, grant, allow; forgive," also "to give up" and "to give in marriage;" from for- "completely" + giefan "give" (see give).

The modern sense of "to give up desire or power to punish" is from use of the compound as a Germanic loan-translation of Latin perdonare (cf. Old Saxon fargeban, Dutch vergeven, German vergeben, Gothic fragiban; see pardon). Related: Forgave; forgiven; forgiving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper