Denotation vs. Connotation


[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 forgetfulness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The meaning is clear, and the kinship of the forgetfulness and Tarnhelm themes unmistakable.

  • When souls have loved, there is no falsehood or forgetfulness.

    Other Tales and Sketches Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • But there was a stronger emotion still that thus sent the old woman dancing in forgetfulness of her chronic pains.

    Heart of the Blue Ridge Waldron Baily
  • I confess that, when I beheld you in the ante room, I blushed for my past forgetfulness.

    Calderon The Courtier Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • The perception of the large debt which they owed to their Greek masters, led to some forgetfulness of their original merits.

  • And what a desert for eternal rest, forgetfulness of all the world!

  • There was no room in that great pulsing heart of his for anything that was cold—no room for the chill of forgetfulness.

    Beth Woodburn Maud Petitt
  • All the wealth of this world cannot buy peace for Henry Dunbar, or forgetfulness.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • Wine is the way to forgetfulness, and most men would sell their souls to be able to forget.

    Cape of Storms Percival Pollard
British Dictionary definitions for forgetfulness


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 forgetfulness



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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