[ fer-giv ]
/ fərˈgɪv /

verb (used with object), for·gave, for·giv·en, for·giv·ing.

to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); absolve.
to give up all claim on account of; remit (a debt, obligation, etc.).
to grant pardon to (a person).
to cease to feel resentment against: to forgive one's enemies.
to cancel an indebtedness or liability of: to forgive the interest owed on a loan.

verb (used without object), for·gave, for·giv·en, for·giv·ing.

to pardon an offense or an offender.

Nearby words

  1. forgetive,
  2. forgettable,
  3. forgettery,
  4. forging,
  5. forgivable,
  6. forgive and forget,
  7. forgiveness,
  8. forgiving,
  9. forgo,
  10. forgot

Origin of forgive

before 900; for- + give; replacing Middle English foryiven, Old English forgiefan

1. See excuse. 3. absolve, acquit.

Related forms
Can be confusedcommute forgive pardon (see synonym study at pardon) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unforgivable

British Dictionary definitions for unforgivable


/ (ˌʌnfəˈɡɪvəbəl) /


so bad as to be unable to be excused or pardoned


/ (fəˈɡɪv) /

verb -gives, -giving, -gave or -given

to cease to blame or hold resentment against (someone or something)
to grant pardon for (a mistake, wrongdoing, etc)
(tr) to free or pardon (someone) from penalty
(tr) to free from the obligation of (a debt, payment, etc)
Derived Formsforgivable, adjectiveforgivably, adverbforgiver, noun

Word Origin for forgive

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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper