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Origin of forgiveness

before 900; Middle English forgifenesse, Old English forgifennys. See forgive, -ness
Related formspre·for·give·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for forgiveness


  1. the act of forgiving or the state of being forgiven
  2. willingness to forgive
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 forgiveness

Old English forgiefnes "pardon, forgiveness, indulgence;" see forgive + -ness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper