English edit

Etymology edit

Alteration (due to give) of Middle English foryiven, forȝiven, from Old English forġiefan (to forgive, to give), from Proto-Germanic *fragebaną (to give away; give up; release; forgive), equivalent to for- +‎ give (etymologically for- + yive). Cognate with Scots forgeve, forgif, forgie (to forgive), West Frisian ferjaan (to forgive), Dutch vergeven (to forgive), German vergeben (to forgive), Icelandic fyrirgefa (to forgive).

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit

forgive (third-person singular simple present forgives, present participle forgiving, simple past forgave, past participle forgiven)

  1. (transitive) To pardon (someone); to waive any negative feeling towards or desire for punishment or retribution against.
    Please forgive me if my phone goes off - I'm expecting an urgent call from my boss.
    Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.
  2. (transitive) To pardon for (something); to waive any negative feeling over or retribution for.
    Forgive us our trespasses.
  3. (transitive) To waive or remit (a debt), to absolve from payment or compensation of.
    Forgive a debt, that is, tell a debtor that a repayment of a loan is no longer needed.
  4. (intransitive) To accord forgiveness.
    • a. 1768, Laurence Sterne, Joseph's History considered; - Forgiveness of Injuries (sermon)
      The brave know only how to forgive [] A coward never forgave; it is not in his nature.
  5. (transitive) To look past; to look beyond.
    The music critic loves the instrumentation of the song so much that he can forgive the confusing lyrics.
  6. (transitive) To redeem; to offset the bad effects of something.
    • 2015, Todd in the Shadows, The Top Ten Best Hit Songs of 2014:
      Okay, a good hook forgives everything.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

References edit