Definition of forget in English:



  • 1 Fail to remember.

    ‘he had forgotten his lines’
    [with clause] ‘she had completely forgotten how tired and hungry she was’
    • ‘A person either remembers these voices or forgets them.’
    • ‘I recently picked the thing up again and surprised myself by remembering most of the chords, but completely forgetting their names.’
    • ‘He blocks shots with abandon - completely forgetting the scary incident a few years back when a puck hit him in the chest, musing him to collapse.’
    • ‘Not being pressed to come up with arguments or evidence to support them, one forgets the arguments and fails to obtain the evidence.’
    • ‘As we listen to his wonderful gab, we should remember what he sometimes forgot or failed to say.’
    • ‘Mary has 18 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren and she says she has an awful lot of birthdays to remember but she never forgets any of them.’
    • ‘It smelled delicious and made us forget the preceding conversation completely.’
    • ‘I found myself mixing up my lines, or forgetting them completely.’
    • ‘No one who lived through that period can have forgotten it or failed to carry its images in their mind.’
    • ‘I've now remembered that I've forgotten something else, but I can live without it.’
    • ‘I'm sure, in retrospect, that it was a case of remembering the hits and forgetting the misses.’
    • ‘Often blood was drawn but without malice, just an accident, like an actor forgetting his lines because he's trying too hard to remember.’
    • ‘Most of the time this meant that she forgot my name and remembered to give her manicurist a lovely tip.’
    • ‘By the time you go back in the afternoon some of these people have completely forgotten the cameras are there.’
    • ‘The story is an allegory of the Cultural Revolution, and deals with remembering and forgetting the traumatic events of the Maoist era.’
    • ‘Soon he forgets the article and remembers only Dominique; he gathers sketches so he can go into the office where she is, but thinks better of it.’
    • ‘Ask me again in two weeks - I'll either have forgotten it completely, or it will behaunting me.’
    • ‘Neither are unreliable to the point of forgetting an appointment completely.’
    • ‘I was in one of my dancing moods and completely forgot his distaste for mustard.’
    • ‘I am crossing fingers that I won't completely forget everything when it goes live!’
    fail to remember, fail to recall, fail to think of, let slip
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    1. 1.1 Inadvertently neglect to do, bring, or mention something.
      ‘I forgot my raincoat’
      [with infinitive] ‘she forgot to lock her door’
      [no object] ‘I'm sorry, I just forgot’
      leave behind, omit to take, overlook, lose track of, mislay, misplace, lose
      neglect, fail, omit, not remember
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    2. 1.2 Put out of one's mind; cease to think of or consider.
      ‘forget all this romantic stuff’
      [no object] ‘for years she had struggled to forget about him’
      • ‘That's where dishes you can pop in the oven and forget about come in.’
      • ‘That crisis of civilizational morale, in turn, helps explain why European man is deliberately forgetting his history.’
      • ‘Now in its eighth year, World Book Day encourages children to forget about technology and to get back to basics.’
      • ‘He advised people with dogs to forget about exercise in the excessive heat and to make sure there was plenty of shade and cool water.’
      • ‘We should forget about the Government, forget about the doctor and think about the patient.’
      • ‘And on the other hand I don't want him to call me, because it would be so much easier to forget about him that way.’
      • ‘If you get to 30 and you're single, forget about it, you're one of life's singles.’
      • ‘Either buy the girl her superstructure out of the goodness of your heart or forget about it.’
      • ‘The players and management can go home and forget about it, we have to live with the trauma of possible relegation every day.’
      • ‘If the Democrats preselect this dud, they can forget about trying to regain credibility.’
      • ‘A couple of great events are coming up in the next two months to help us forget about all the snow earlier this week.’
      • ‘Then you might as well forget about walking to the traffic lights and just jaywalk in the middle of the street.’
      • ‘Some might hide and forget about it, there are some who might even run from it and try to make a new life, forgetting the past like it never existed.’
      • ‘I know there are the people who will say just forget about it, it's not worth it.’
      • ‘When push comes to shove, you just forget about it - it's just not worth the heartache.’
      • ‘Add the rice and two cups of water, cover the pot, and turn the heat down low enough for you to forget about it for a while.’
      • ‘The view out the front through the large windscreen is good, but forget about seeing the bonnet.’
      • ‘Now I can forget about it until early April, when the actual paper itself is due.’
      • ‘Anyone in his position would have wanted to completely forget about his escape from the long arm of the law.’
      • ‘They're not kidding themselves about their age, but ice hockey lets them forget about it for a couple of hours each week.’
      stop thinking about, think no more of, cease to think of, cease to remember, put out of one's mind, shut out, blank out, pay no heed to, not worry about, ignore, overlook, never mind, take no notice of, banish from one's thoughts, put away, get over, set aside, lay aside, pass over, abandon, have done with, drop, disregard, brush off, shrug off
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    3. 1.3forget oneself Stop thinking about one's own problems or feelings.
      ‘he must forget himself in his work’
      • ‘I think you ought to stop it, or he'll soon forget himself and start expecting the respect a proper name commands.’
      • ‘It's such a visual spectacle that, perhaps for a moment, you do forget yourself.’
      • ‘The self, like the bumblebee sucking honey from a lotus forgets itself in the ecstasy of being one with the Divine.’
      • ‘After 10 long years of workmanlike painting, he decided to forget himself and embrace nature wholeheartedly.’
      • ‘His prose is simply beautiful, and frequently forgets itself and takes wing into the poetic, much to our delight.’
      • ‘She needed relaxation and fun, an opportunity to forget herself, or find herself, feel like Olivia again.’
      • ‘She always explained that she forgot herself entirely and simply did what had to be done.’
      • ‘You realise as well how enervating the babble in your own head actually is and how peaceful it's possible to feel when you forget yourself by becoming totally engaged, through the senses, with your surroundings.’
      • ‘When the film forgot itself and slipped in some witty dialogue or situational comedy, the audience roared in relief.’
      • ‘Let her try to forget herself and to think only of God, but gently and simply without any violent effort.’
      • ‘His days were full of suffering, but he forgot himself, and only prayed that he might make peace before he died.’
      • ‘It seemed as if the time of the day had stopped, and she was glad as she forgot herself as she danced, listening to the music intently.’
      • ‘Be determined to fight the battle against pride by considering each day as an opportunity to forget yourself and serve others.’
      • ‘As she puts it, when she's with a customer, she has to forget herself and assume a role.’
      • ‘But the man who forgets himself and his desires in order to serve the Lord, will find life, that is, a reward in the kingdom.’
      • ‘If you want to remember God, then first learn to forget yourself a little.’
      • ‘Eyes that burned into a soul she had bargained away for one brief moment to forget herself in him.’
      • ‘He is in a state of disinterested absorption, so far as to forget himself and his earthly needs.’
      • ‘Once when the child was struggling to breathe, the mother, forgetting herself entirely, took the little one into her arms to keep her from choking to death.’
      • ‘Knowledge issues from a ripe mind at the point of its ripeness where it forgets itself and receives an inspiration.’
      • ‘She makes clear that this cocky, pure, maddening, unwise girl forgot herself in a cause greater than herself.’
      • ‘So she prayed and forgot herself, remembering her Lord, her beloved Siam, her King and her dead family.’
      • ‘It says, ‘Life satisfaction occurs most often when people are engaged in absorbing activities that cause them to forget themselves, lose track of time, and stop worrying.’’
    4. 1.4forget oneself Act improperly or unbecomingly.
      • ‘Greg had forgotten himself, had stepped outside his boundaries, and now he was paying for that.’
      • ‘I think that these people had forgotten themselves.’
      • ‘But as the century progressed, this right allowed individuals to protect their personal dignity even when they had temporarily forgotten themselves in moments of indiscretion.’
      • ‘Brent elbowed me, fortunately, for I had completely forgotten myself.’
      • ‘But today, in an unguarded moment, he forgets himself.’
      • ‘I gave a whoop of joy, and, forgetting myself, hugged my brother.’
      • ‘She straightened and glanced at him from the corner of her eye in controlled disdain like she'd seen Rachel do when a suitor forgot himself with her.’
      • ‘With everything going on, she said, I almost forgot myself.’
      • ‘Moments later, she forgot herself for a second and said she had to go and use the potty.’
      • ‘On Thursday night, the president forgot himself.’
      • ‘And as though she had forgotten herself, she quickly amended, ‘I mean… you know how it is… with big brothers.’’
      • ‘For this reason we didn't let any of the other neighborhood kids come along, kids who often forgot themselves, called out, fought over the best pickings, and sometimes stood up visible if they couldn't pay attention or were too anxious.’
      • ‘When I realized just how close we were getting, or, I guess, when I completely forgot myself and almost kissed you, I freaked out.’
      • ‘Brian, forgetting himself, retorted, ‘Can you see yourself on the monitor?’’
      • ‘‘I'm sorry, Your Highness, I forgot myself,’ Brian quickly amended.’
      • ‘Affronted and forgetting myself I replied coldly, ‘What about you?’’
      • ‘I forgot myself and promptly slammed the door in their faces.’
      • ‘As she gets into her job in intelligence, she's forgetting herself and her temper is starting to show through.’
      act improperly, misbehave, do wrong, go wrong, behave badly, be misbehaved, misconduct oneself, be bad, be naughty, get up to mischief, get up to no good, act up, cause someone trouble, give someone trouble
      sin, go astray, transgress, trespass, fall from grace, lapse, degenerate
      muck about, play up
      View synonyms


  • forget it

    • 1Said when insisting to someone that there is no need for apology or thanks.

    • 2Said when telling someone that their idea or aspiration is impracticable.

      • ‘As for the possibility of anyone having a view that represents a blend of the obligatory sets of ideas, forget it!’
      • ‘As for nerdy engines powered by Linux, forget it.’
  • not forgetting ——

    • (at the end of a list) and also ——

      ‘we depend on them for food and shelter and clothing, not forgetting heat in the wintertime’
      • ‘The heat and not forgetting the stress was mounting upon Sarah and it was beginning to show…’
      • ‘Scottish Friends of Palestine, one of the organisers of the protest against the event, is proud to have Jewish founding members, not forgetting existing members.’
      • ‘The Trust has a range of other projects in the pipeline, large and small, that will benefit all sectors of the community, not forgetting the older members who are so often overlooked.’
      • ‘Since then his life has been hectic, after adjusting to the climate, the culture and not forgetting the old enemy, the mosquito, a fellow that shows no mercy.’
      • ‘It would help considerably if parents ensure that the owners name appears somewhere on all items of clothing, not forgetting footballs.’
      • ‘An example of this is the school celebrating religious festivals such as the Hindu Diwali and the Muslim Eid, not forgetting Christmas.’
      • ‘The designers seek inspiration from the 1940s and the 1960s, not forgetting the 1980s revival.’
      • ‘You're taught about everything from nutrition, rice cooking, and knife skills, to the many varieties of sushi - not forgetting presentation.’
      • ‘Guests travelled from Ireland, Wales, Kent, London and San Lucia, not forgetting some long standing friends in Monserret.’
      • ‘We now have two home games in the next two weeks, which means points must be gained properly from good quality cricket, batting, bowling and not forgetting fielding.’


Old English forgietan; related to Dutch vergeten and German vergessen, and ultimately to for- and get.