Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of forgive
Meaning of forgive by Wiktionary Dictionary



    Middle English forgiven ( “to forgive” ), from Old English forġiefan ( “to forgive, give up, provide” ), corresponding to for- +‎ give. Cognate with Dutch vergeven, German vergeben .


    • enPR: fər-gĭv', fôr-gĭv', IPA: /fə( r )ˈɡɪv/, /fɔː( r )ˈɡɪv/, X-SAMPA: /f@( r )"gIv/, /fO:( r )"gIv/


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

    1. ( transitive ) To pardon, to waive any negative feeling or desire for punishment .
      Only the brave know how to forgive...A coward never forgave; it is not in his nature. - Laurence Sterne
    2. ( intransitive ) To accord forgiveness .

    See also

    • forgive in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
    • forgive in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913

Explanation of forgive by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. stop blaming or grant forgiveness

    2. She cannot forgive him for forgetting her birthday
    3. absolve from payment

    4. I forgive you your debt