Last modified on 16 December 2014, at 07:09

forfeit

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Middle English from ca. 1300, from Old French forfait (crime), originally the past participle of forfaire (to transgress), and Medieval Latin foris factum. During the 15th century, the sense shifted from the crime to the penalty for the crime.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

forfeit (plural forfeits)

  1. A penalty for or consequence of a misdemeanor.
    That he our deadly forfeit should release (John Milton, On the Morning of Christ's Nativity, 1629)
  2. A thing forfeited; that which is taken from somebody in requital of a misdeed committed; that which is lost, or the right to which is alienated, by a crime, breach of contract, etc.
    He who murders pays the forfeit of his own life.
    • Shakespeare
      Thy slanders I forgive; and therewithal / Remit thy other forfeits.
  3. Something deposited and redeemable by a sportive fine as part of a game.
    • Goldsmith
      Country dances and forfeits shortened the rest of the day.
  4. (obsolete, rare) Injury; wrong; mischief.
    • Ld. Berners
      to seek arms upon people and country that never did us any forfeit

TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

forfeit (third-person singular simple present forfeits, present participle forfeiting, simple past and past participle forfeited)

  1. To suffer the loss of something by wrongdoing or non-compliance
    He forfeited his last chance of an early release from jail by repeatedly attacking another inmate.
  2. To lose a contest, game, match, or other form of competition by voluntary withdrawal, by failing to attend or participate, or by violation of the rules
    Because only nine players were present, the football team was forced to forfeit the game.
  3. To be guilty of a misdeed; to be criminal; to transgress.
  4. To fail to keep an obligation.
    • Shakespeare
      I will have the heart of him if he forfeit.

Usage notesEdit

  • Very rarely, forfeit is used as the past tense form and past participle (i.e., the past tense forms and the present tense form are homographs).

SynonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

AdjectiveEdit

forfeit (not comparable)

  1. Lost or alienated for an offense or crime; liable to penal seizure.
    • Shakespeare
      thy wealth being forfeit to the state
    • Emerson
      to tread the forfeit paradise