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Middle English[edit]


From Old English forlǣtan (to let go, relinquish, surrender, lose, leave, abandon, neglect; remit, pardon, excuse; release; let, permit, allow; grant, give), from Proto-Germanic *fralētaną. Equivalent to for- + lǣtan (to allow, cause, let).


forleten (third-person singular simple present forleteth, present participle forlette, simple past and past participle forleten)

  1. To forsake, disregard, abandon; reject; intr. to be neglectful
    Þe same I will do þe Þat for-lete at my lare. — Man þus on rode ... Religious Lyrics of the XIVth Century, c1425
  2. To cease or neglect
    Whan he bigynneth any good werk, anon he wol forleten it and stynten. — Chaucer, c1380
  3. To leave out, omit, pass over, overlook
    We shule tellen alle ure gultes..and no þing of þe soðe forlete. — Trinity Homilies, 1225
  4. To yield, to give up, resign; renounce; to put away; to release, let go, refrain from injuring
    Repentant folk that stynte for to synne and forlete synne er that synne forlete hem. — Chaucer, c1390
  5. To lose (something), be deprived of; forfeit; lose track of
    Moo renovelaunces of olde forleten aqueyntaunces. — Chaucer, c1380
  6. To give or forgive; allow, permit, grant
    Þam þe he her on worlde mucel to forlæteþ, mucel he to þam eft seceð. — Homilies in MS Bodley, 1175
  7. To let (blood); eliminate, to discharge; of a disease: to leave (someone).
    Þe king him gon to sweten, þat ufel hine gon forleten. — — Layamon's Brut, 1275

Related terms[edit]



  • Middle English Dictionary