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[fer-geyv] /fərˈgeɪv/
simple past tense of forgive.


[fer-giv] /fərˈgɪv/
verb (used with object), forgave, forgiven, forgiving.
to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); absolve.
to give up all claim on account of; remit (a debt, obligation, etc.).
to grant pardon to (a person).
to cease to feel resentment against:
to forgive one's enemies.
to cancel an indebtedness or liability of:
to forgive the interest owed on a loan.
verb (used without object), forgave, forgiven, forgiving.
to pardon an offense or an offender.
Origin of forgive
before 900; for- + give; replacing Middle English foryiven, Old English forgiefan
Related forms
forgivable, adjective
forgiver, noun
half-forgiven, adjective
preforgive, verb (used with object), preforgave, preforgiven, preforgiving.
unforgivable, adjective
unforgivableness, noun
unforgivably, adverb
unforgiven, adjective
Can be confused
commute, forgive, pardon (see synonym study at pardon)
1. See excuse. 3. absolve, acquit. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for forgave
  • Many people never forgave him, and he never forgave himself.
  • On the other hand, the captain never forgave him and for the next six weeks at sea hardly spoke to him.
  • His fans forgave him, but his enemies kept on plotting.
  • They forgave their enemies and took farewell of one another, as though they were at their last agony.
  • Which words so strongly affected her, that she forgave the offence.
  • On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him.
  • People in the movie world admired his fidelity to his nature and often forgave him his sins.
  • He treated her rotten and she always forgave him--even made excuses for him.
  • She got blood poisoning and blamed him for it-for which he never forgave her.
  • Unless the bank forgave or cancelled the debt, you are still obligated to repay the loan.
British Dictionary definitions for forgave


the past tense of forgive


verb -gives, -giving, -gave, -given
to cease to blame or hold resentment against (someone or something)
to grant pardon for (a mistake, wrongdoing, etc)
(transitive) to free or pardon (someone) from penalty
(transitive) to free from the obligation of (a debt, payment, etc)
Derived Forms
forgivable, adjective
forgivably, adverb
forgiver, noun
Word Origin
Old English forgiefan; see for-, give
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for forgave

past tense of forgive (q.v.).



Old English forgiefan "give, grant, allow; forgive," also "to give up" and "to give in marriage;" from for- "completely" + giefan "give" (see give).

The modern sense of "to give up desire or power to punish" is from use of the compound as a Germanic loan-translation of Latin perdonare (cf. Old Saxon fargeban, Dutch vergeven, German vergeben, Gothic fragiban; see pardon). Related: Forgave; forgiven; forgiving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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