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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English *forseken (attested in forsoȝt), from Old English forsēcan, forsēċan (to afflict, attack), equivalent to for- +‎ seek. Compare West Frisian fersykje (to request, petition), Dutch verzoeken (to request, ask, petition), German versuchen (to attempt, try).


forseek (third-person singular simple present forseeks, present participle forseeking, simple past and past participle forsought)

  1. (transitive) To seek thoroughly (for); seek out.
    • 1614, J. Davies, An Eglogue:
      Vartue it's sed (and is an old said saw) Is for hur selfe, to be forsought alone.
    • 1908, James Gairdner, William Hunt, Lollardy and the Reformation in England: an historical survey:
      And also the lay fee, sometime the noble and sometime the commons, without difference, upon chance and displeasure grown, or of truth forsought and feigned, he doth impoverish, destroy, and kill, for none other intent but that he may enjoy and use his foul pleasures []
    • 1919, Melancthon Woolsey Stryker, Vesper bells:
      Stoutly undertake. Pierce the fell stratagem. Undo the fraud. Strike hard thine obstacles. So shalt thou bear Thyself to purpose. Hand and heart may ache : But idle whims shall not make thee a gaud. Brave things forseek the bold. On with thee! Dare!

Etymology 2Edit



  1. Misspelling of forsake.
    • 1968, Madhya Pradesh (India), V. S. Krishnan, Madhya Pradesh district gazetteers:
      The Rani also espoused their cause and marched from Garha to join them. When the astute sultan heard of this, he sent persons to the Rani with a view to inducing her to forseek her design, and thus averted a clash.
    • 1999, Jeffrey Masten, Wendy Wall, Renaissance Drama 28: New:
      The play's characters themselves, however, offer a very different estimate: "Forseek all London from one end to t'ther, [] "
    • 2002, Luli Gray, Falcon and the Charles Street Witch:
      "I fear your ardor be so hot That it may but yourself consume, Or passion's flame be unallayed, You will forseek a gallet's tomb. [] "
    • 2009, Laurel Amtower, Jacqueline Vanhoutte, A Companion to Chaucer and His Contemporaries: Texts and Contexts:
      For he is often a drunkard and then he neglects and forseeks his lords' goods and cattle or takes it thievishly and spends it.