"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[fawr-swair] /fɔrˈswɛər/
verb (used with object), forswore, forsworn, forswearing.
to reject or renounce under oath:
to forswear an injurious habit.
to deny vehemently or under oath.
to perjure (oneself).
verb (used without object), forswore, forsworn, forswearing.
to swear falsely; commit perjury.
Origin of forswear
before 900; Middle English forsweren, Old English forswerian. See for-, swear
Related forms
forswearer, noun
1. abjure, relinquish, forgo, forsake, abandon. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for forswear
  • Salaries are so low that an official has to be a saint to forswear any extra earning opportunities.
  • One answer is to forswear fossil fuels completely in favour of a mixture of renewables, nuclear and reduced demand.
  • The power of the big rackets was too much to forswear.
  • It is no reason to forswear knowledge of ourselves, particularly when the potential benefits are great.
  • Instead, she must be sweetness personified, drink certified milk and forswear all knowledge of the facts of life.
  • He who has once tasted this fruit can never more forswear it.
  • Magnanimous in peace as in war, he urged his countrymen to forswear hatred and make the best of their situation.
  • It does not require any country to forswear its responsibility to protect its own market.
British Dictionary definitions for forswear


verb -swears, -swearing, -swore, -sworn
(transitive) to reject or renounce with determination or as upon oath
(transitive) to deny or disavow absolutely or upon oath: he forswore any knowledge of the crime
to perjure (oneself)
Derived Forms
forswearer, noun
Word Origin
Old English forswearian
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 forswear

Old English forswerian "swear falsely," also "abandon or renounce on oath," from for- "completely" + swerian "to swear." Related: Forswore; forsworn; forswearing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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