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[fawr-sey-kuh n]
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  1. past participle of forsake.
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  1. deserted; abandoned; forlorn: an old, forsaken farmhouse.
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Related formsfor·sak·en·ly, adverbfor·sak·en·ness, nounself-for·sak·en, adjectiveun·for·sak·en, adjective


verb (used with object), for·sook, for·sak·en, for·sak·ing.
  1. to quit or leave entirely; abandon; desert: She has forsaken her country for an island in the South Pacific.
  2. to give up or renounce (a habit, way of life, etc.).
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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


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Synonym study

1. See desert2.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for forsaken

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He at least did not think that the idol had been forsaken because the use of his name was given up.

  • Far below him lay the pallidly-lit depths of the forsaken thoroughfare.

  • Since Salvat's arrest, the woman and the child had been forsaken and suspected by one and all.

  • Grey Beaver had betrayed and forsaken him, but that had no effect upon him.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • Tell him also that if he had paid me a little better for my labours, I would not have forsaken him.

    A Hero of Our Time

    M. Y. Lermontov

British Dictionary definitions for forsaken


  1. the past participle of forsake
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  1. completely deserted or helpless; abandoned
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Derived Formsforsakenly, adverbforsakenness, noun


verb -sakes, -saking, -sook (-ˈsʊk) or -saken (-ˈseɪkən) (tr)
  1. to abandon
  2. to give up (something valued or enjoyed)
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Derived Formsforsaker, noun

Word Origin

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 forsaken


mid-13c., past participle adjective from forsake. Related: Forsakenly.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper