American English

Definition of forgive verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they forgive
    he / she / it forgives
    past simple forgave
    past participle forgiven
    -ing form forgiving
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] to stop feeling angry with someone who has done something to harm, annoy, or upset you; to stop feeling angry with yourself forgive somebody/yourself (for something/for doing something) I'll never forgive her for what she did. I'd never forgive myself if she heard the truth from someone else. forgive (something) I can't forgive that type of behavior. We all have to learn to forgive. forgive somebody something She'd forgive him anything.
  2. 2[transitive] used to say in a polite way that you are sorry if what you are doing or saying seems rude or silly forgive me Forgive me, but I don't see that any of this concerns me. forgive me for doing something Forgive me for interrupting, but I really don't agree with that. forgive my … Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly does the company do? forgive my doing something Forgive my interrupting but I really don't agree with that.
  3. 3[transitive] forgive (somebody) something (formal) (of a bank, country, etc.) to say that someone does not need to pay back money that they have borrowed The government has agreed to forgive a large part of the debt.
  4. Idioms
    somebody could/might be forgiven for doing something
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    used to say that it is easy to understand why someone does or thinks something, although they are wrong Looking at the crowds out shopping, you could be forgiven for thinking that everyone has plenty of money.
    forgive and forget
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    to stop feeling angry with someone for something they have done to you and to behave as if it had not happened I know what he did was wrong but don't you think it's time to forgive and forget?
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: forgive

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