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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.
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verb (used without object), for·gave, for·giv·en, for·giv·ing.
  1. to pardon an offense or an offender.
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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

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

Related Words

reinstated

Examples from the Web for forgiven

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And you cannot have said you were sorry, or he would have forgiven you!

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • It was the first time he had ever felt the cut of a whip, and the blow was not forgiven.

  • O mother, I have forgiven him, and he will now take me to Riolama, to our people.

    Green Mansions

    W. H. Hudson

  • It's well he's dead, for if he had lived, I am afraid I should have forgiven him.

  • For every sauce invented and accepted a vice is renounced and forgiven.


British Dictionary definitions for forgiven

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)
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Derived Formsforgivable, adjectiveforgivably, adverbforgiver, noun

Word Origin

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 forgiven

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper