Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms.


 (fər-gĭv′, fôr-)
v. for·gave (-gāv′), for·giv·en (-gĭv′ən), for·giv·ing, for·gives
1. To give up resentment against or stop wanting to punish (someone) for an offense or fault; pardon.
2. To relent in being angry or in wishing to exact punishment for (an offense or fault).
3. To absolve from payment of (a debt, for example).
To grant forgiveness.

[Middle English forgiven, from Old English forgiefan; see ghabh- in Indo-European roots.]

for·giv′a·ble adj.
for·giv′a·bly adv.
for·giv′er n.
Synonyms: forgive, pardon, excuse, condone
These verbs mean to refrain from imposing punishment on an offender or demanding satisfaction for an offense. The first three can be used as conventional ways of offering apology. More strictly, to forgive is to grant pardon without harboring resentment: "Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them" (Oscar Wilde).
Pardon more strongly implies release from the liability for or penalty entailed by an offense: After the revolution all political prisoners were pardoned.
To excuse is to pass over a mistake or fault without demanding punishment or redress: "Valencia was incredibly generous to these deadbeats. She memorized their poetry and excused their bad behavior" (David Sedaris).
To condone is to overlook an offense, usually a serious one, and often suggests tacit forgiveness: Failure to protest the policy may imply a willingness to condone it.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.forgiver - a person who pardons or forgives or excuses a fault or offense
individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul - a human being; "there was too much for one person to do"
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Besides committing to life together in peace with justice, forgiveness challenges and empowers both the forgiver and the forgiven to engage together in the common task to create a hopeful future by liberating themselves from the bitterness of the past.
In response to Remy's view, "The history of mankind is a history of horrors," she considers God a necessary forgiver.
Even Flaubert's pregnant silences reinforce the concept of Felicite as a perpetual forgiver of others.
Murphy would argue that it is hardly a virtue to forgive if in the process of so doing, the forgiver overlooks or denies his own moral rights.
Mandela was the great forgiver, and he forgave Israel, too.
The forgiver may be motivated toward positive social behaviors toward the offender.
thi fri wa If you believe in God, you'll know that he's a forgiver and finding peace within yourself is what matters.
A commonly cited definition of forgiveness highlights the cognitive, behavioral, and affective changes of the forgiver from negative to positive towards the person forgiven (Enright & Fitzgibbons, 2000).
Enright and his colleagues (Baskin & Enright, 2004; Enright, 2001; Enright & Fitzgibbons, 2000; Freedman & Enright, 1996) defined forgiveness as a free choice by the forgiver to willingly give up resentment about an offense and respond with beneficence to the offender, even though the offender has no fight to the forgiver's moral goodness.
The forgiver forswears resentment, but the evildoer, to be morally deserving of that effort, must acknowledge his wrong and repent, or in some other way suitably distance himself from his wrong and the message of disrespect so often tied to it.
Mary--maiden, matron, miracle worker, protector of virgins, forgiver of sinners, lioness shielding her cub--she has followed us through the ages, reflecting our complex selves back to us.
A Muslim prayed, "Merciful Allah, forgiver of all wrong.