Definition of forsake in US English:



[with object]literary
  • 1Abandon (someone or something)

    ‘he would never forsake Tara’
    • ‘Abandoned by their father, forsaken by neighbors, Bolas and the children kept vigil over their mother.’
    • ‘Will the one who brought them into the land abandon and forsake them now?’
    • ‘If back in '64 the system seemed to have abandoned and forsaken people, what of now?’
    • ‘The little creature had brought the warmth and security of her childhood back to her for a fleeting moment, and now, once again, she was abandoned and forsaken.’
    • ‘But at some point in life, you must abandon books, forsake the forewarning words of others, and find out for yourself.’
    abandon, desert, leave, quit, depart from, leave behind, leave high and dry, turn one's back on, cast aside, give up, reject, disown
    abandoned, deserted, jilted, stranded, discarded, shunned, renounced, betrayed, rejected, disowned
    desolate, bleak, godforsaken, remote, isolated, sequestered, lonely, solitary, deserted, derelict, dreary, forlorn, uninviting, cheerless, depressing, sad
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    1. 1.1 Renounce or give up (something valued or pleasant)
      ‘I won't forsake my vegetarian principles’
      • ‘But their hi-tech approach doesn't forsake the old values.’
      • ‘The track counsels people to guard against forsaking their traditional values for foreign ones.’
      • ‘She forsook her suitors and renounced the comforts of her family home.’
      • ‘He definitely needs to cut back, but he doesn't have to forsake his principles to do that.’
      • ‘If you can forsake your fundamental principles for any reason then you are not the kind of person who can take the country forward.’
      renounce, give up, relinquish, dispense with, forgo, desist from, forswear, disclaim, disown, disavow, discard, set aside, wash one's hands of, turn one's back on, repudiate, have done with
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Old English forsacan ‘renounce, refuse’, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch verzaken, and ultimately to for- and sake.