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).
- (transitive) To disallow; to proscribe.
- Smoking in the restaurant is forbidden.
- (transitive) To deny, exclude from, or warn off, by express command.
- Have I not forbid her my house?
- (transitive) To oppose, hinder, or prevent, as if by an effectual command.
- An impassable river forbids the approach of the army.
- a blaze of glory that forbids the sight
- (transitive, obsolete) To accurse; to blast.
- He shall live a man forbid.
- (transitive, obsolete) To defy; to challenge.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of L. Andrews to this entry?)
- 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)