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[fer-get-fuh l] /fərˈgɛt fəl/
apt to forget; that forgets:
a forgetful person.
heedless or neglectful (often followed by of):
to be forgetful of others.
bringing on oblivion:
forgetful slumber.
Origin of forgetful
1350-1400; Middle English; see forget, -ful
Related forms
forgetfully, adverb
forgetfulness, noun
quasi-forgetful, adjective
quasi-forgetfully, adverb
unforgetful, adjective
unforgetfully, adverb
unforgetfulness, noun
1. absent-minded, inattentive, unmindful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for forgetful
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They rose, and walked together, forgetful of the eagerly observant group.

    The Divine Fire May Sinclair
  • In case I was forgetful, please let me impress the fact upon you now.

    The Avenger E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • Then all of a sudden he fell into a deep sleep, and forgetful of his dangerous position, he slumbered sweetly.

    The Yellow Fairy Book Leonora Blanche Alleyne Lang
  • And again, if he is forgetful and retains nothing of what he learns, will he not be an empty vessel?

    The Republic Plato
  • Carlyle, like the ancient prophet, was too conscious of his own mission, and too forgetful of that of others.

  • And often, forgetful of measure and order, he will express not that which is truest, but that which is strongest.

    Gorgias Plato
  • Michael, forgetful of himself and of the whole world, stood on the rock with folded arms.

  • His Royal Highness is not forgetful of the duties of his position.

British Dictionary definitions for forgetful


tending to forget
(often postpositive) foll by of. inattentive (to) or neglectful (of)
(poetic) causing loss of memory
Derived Forms
forgetfully, adverb
forgetfulness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for forgetful

late 14c., from forget + -ful. Related: Forgetfully; forgetfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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