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From Middle English forsaken ‎(to reject, deny), from Old English forsacan ‎(to dispute, quarrel, refuse, oppose), from Proto-Germanic *frasakaną ‎(to renounce), equivalent to for- +‎ sake. Akin to West Frisian fersaakje, Dutch verzaken ‎(to renounce; forsake), Middle High German versachen ‎(to deny), Danish forsage ‎(to give up), Norwegian forsake ‎(to give up, renounce), Swedish försaka ‎(to give up, to be without), Gothic 𐍃𐌰𐌺𐌰𐌽 ‎(sakan, to rebuke, quarrel).[1]



forsake ‎(third-person singular simple present forsakes, present participle forsaking, simple past forsook, past participle forsaken)

  1. To abandon, to give up, to leave (permanently), to renounce.
    • 1911: Ameen Rihani, The Book of Khalid, p.39
      There may be nothing noble in renouncing one's country, in abandoning one's home, in forsaking one's people; but is there not something remarkable in this great move one makes.



  • forsake in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
  • Notes:
  1. ^ forsake in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913

Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


Ultimately from Proto-Germanic *frasakaną. Compare Danish forsage, Swedish försaka, English forsake, Dutch verzaken.


forsake ‎(imperative forsak, present tense forsaker, simple past and past participle forsaka or forsaket, present participle forsakende)

  1. to give up, relinquish
  2. to denounce (the devil)

Derived terms[edit]