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From Middle English withsaken, from Old English wiþsacan (to forsake, abandon, renounce, refuse, deny, oppose, drive against); equivalent to with- +‎ sake. Compare Middle High German widersachen.


withsake (third-person singular simple present withsakes, present participle withsaking, simple past withsook, past participle withsaken)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To forsake; abandon; renounce; deny; refuse.
    • 1852, Alfred (King of England), The whole works of King Alfred the Great:
      Well! the king then openly declared to the priest and to them all, that he would firmly "withsake" and renounce idolatry, and receive the faith of Christ.
    • 1852, August Neander, The First epistle of John: practically explained:
      [...] as Christ did not withsake, a love not proceeding from God and referring all to him, which the Apostle here forbids.
    • 1987, Douglas Moffat, The Soul's address to the body: the Worcester fragments:
      [...] there appears a reference to the body "withsaking" the devil (G47), a clear indication that there was a time in the life of the body when it was not so thorough a sinner.