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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

Examples from the Web for unforgivable

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • We have committed the unforgivable offense and must pay for it.

    Slaves of Mercury

    Nat Schachner

  • It is the unforgivable offence in this house to be late at breakfast.

    Roland Cashel

    Charles James Lever

  • To forget some things, and some people and some kindnesses, are unforgivable sins.

    A Labrador Doctor

    Wilfred Thomason Grenfell

  • They have a right to; we've done them all an unforgivable injury.

    Oomphel in the Sky

    Henry Beam Piper

  • But Sanda gave him no time for words that would be unforgivable.

    A Soldier of the Legion

    C. N. Williamson


British Dictionary definitions for unforgivable

unforgivable

adjective
  1. so bad as to be unable to be excused or pardoned
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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 unforgivable

adj.

1540s, from un- (1) "not" + forgive + -able. In early use, especially with reference to the sin in Matt. xii:31. Related: Unforgivably.

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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