forbid

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English forbeden, from Old English forbēodan (to forbid, prohibit, restrain, refuse, repeal, annul), equivalent to for- (from, away) +‎ bid (to offer, proclaim). Cognate with Dutch verbieden (to forbid), German verbieten (to forbid), Danish forbyde (to forbid), Swedish förbjuda (to forbid), Gothic 𐍆𐌰𐌿𐍂𐌱𐌹𐌿𐌳𐌰𐌽 (faurbiudan).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

forbid (third-person singular simple present forbids, present participle forbidding, simple past forbid, forbade or forbad, past participle forbidden)

  1. (transitive) To disallow; to proscribe.
    Smoking in the restaurant is forbidden.
    • 1908, Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
      [] the Mole recollected that animal-etiquette forbade any sort of comment on the sudden disappearance of one's friends at any moment, for any reason or no reason whatever.
  2. (transitive) To deny, exclude from, or warn off, by express command.
    • Shakespeare
      Have I not forbid her my house?
  3. (transitive) To oppose, hinder, or prevent, as if by an effectual command.
    An impassable river forbids the approach of the army.
    • Dryden
      a blaze of glory that forbids the sight
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To accurse; to blast.
    • Shakespeare
      He shall live a man forbid.
  5. (transitive, obsolete) To defy; to challenge.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of L. Andrews to this entry?)

Usage notes[edit]

  • This is a catenative verb that takes the to infinitive when the forbidden person is mentioned, and the gerund (-ing) otherwise. See Appendix:English catenative verbs. Examples:
    • The management forbids employees to smoke in the office. (Active; those subject to prohibition are identified)
    • Employees are forbidden to smoke in the office. (Passive; those subject to prohibition are identified)
    • The management forbids smoking in the office. (Active; those subject to prohibition are not identified)
    • Smoking in the office is forbidden. (Passive; those subject to prohibition are not identified)

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]