Word of the Day Archive
Friday February 28, 2003
, transitive verb;
1. a. (Archaic) To prohibit; to forbid.
b. To ward off; to prevent; to avert.
2. To defend; to protect; to preserve.
The Tory leader sort of wanted to say that the government should deploy the army more rapidly, but -- heaven forfend -- he didn't want to imply that it was anybody's fault that the soldiers hadn't been deployed!
-- Simon Hoggart, "A greasy whiff dispels the stench of worthiness", Guardian, March 22, 2001
If one of us is missing, heaven forfend, then the king's forces are diminished.
-- Leon Wieseltier, Kaddish
The river of discovery will continue to flow without cessation, deepening our understanding of the world and enhancing our capacity to forfend calamity and live congenial lives.
-- John Maddox, What Remains To Be Discovered
Forfend is from Middle English forfenden, from for-, "for-" + fenden, "to ward off."