[ fawr-seyk ]
/ fɔrˈseɪk /

verb (used with object), for·sook, for·sak·en, for·sak·ing.

to quit or leave entirely; abandon; desert: She has forsaken her country for an island in the South Pacific.
to give up or renounce (a habit, way of life, etc.).

Nearby words

  1. forrest, nathan bedford,
  2. forrestal,
  3. forrestal, james vincent,
  4. forrester,
  5. forrestier's disease,
  6. forsaken,
  7. forsakenly,
  8. forseti,
  9. forsook,
  10. forsooth

Origin of forsake

before 900; Middle English forsaken to deny, reject, Old English forsacan, equivalent to for- for- + sacan to dispute

Related formsfor·sak·er, nounun·for·sak·ing, adjective

Synonym study

1. See desert2. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for forsake

British Dictionary definitions for forsake


/ (fəˈseɪk) /

verb -sakes, -saking, -sook (-ˈsʊk) or -saken (-ˈseɪkən) (tr)

to abandon
to give up (something valued or enjoyed)
Derived Formsforsaker, noun

Word Origin for forsake

Old English forsacan

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 forsake



Old English forsacan "object to, decline, oppose, refuse, deny," from for- "completely" + sacan "to deny, refuse" (see sake). Related: Forsaking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper