far be it

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far be it

  1. (idiomatic) A disclaimer stating that something should not come to pass, or that a person would never do or think a certain thing.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, [], OCLC 964384981:
      Samuel 20:20,
      And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy.
    • Thomas Carlyle
      Far be it that soe much guilt should sticke to your hands, who live in a citye so renowned for the clere shininge light of the Gospell.
    • Pewtey in Marriage Guidance Counselor from And Now For Something Completely Different
      Deirdre (that's my wife) and I have always been very close companions, and I never particularly anticipated any marital strife. Indeed, the very idea of consulting such a professional marital advisor as yourself has always been of the greatest repugnance to me. Although, (chuckles) far be it from me to impugn the nature of your trade, or ... or profession.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In contemporary usage, this phrase is followed by a prepositional phrase using from or for followed by an infinitive, except when used without an explicit infinitive, which is presumed understood from the context.
  • It is often followed by a clause introduced by but, e.g. "far be it from me to ____, but ____".