forsake

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English forsaken (to abandon, desert, repudiate, withdraw allegiance from; to deny, reject, shun; to betray; to divorce (a spouse); to disown; to be false to (one's nature, vows, etc.; to give up, renounce, surrender; to discard; to omit; to decline, refuse, reject; to avoid, escape; to cease, desist; to evade, neglect; to contradict, refute; to depart, leave; to become detached, separate) [and other forms],[1] from Old English forsacan (to oppose; to give up, renounce; to decline, refuse),[2] from Proto-West Germanic *frasakan (to forsake, renounce), from Proto-Germanic *fra- (prefix meaning ‘away, off’) + *sakaną (to charge; to dispute) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *seh₂g- (to seek out)). The English word can be analysed as for- +‎ sake, and is cognate with Saterland Frisian ferseeke (to deny, refuse), West Frisian fersaakje, Dutch verzaken (to renounce, forsake), Middle High German versachen (to deny), Danish forsage (to give up), Swedish försaka (to be without, give up), Norwegian forsake (to give up, renounce), Gothic 𐍃𐌰𐌺𐌰𐌽 (sakan, to quarrel; to rebuke), .

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

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

  1. (transitive) To abandon, to give up, to leave (permanently), to renounce (someone or something).
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To decline or refuse (something offered).
    • 1697, “The Third Book of the Georgics”, in Virgil; John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432, lines 329–330 and 333–336, page 106:
      The youthful Bull muſt wander in the Wood; / Behind the Mountain, or beyond the Flood: / [...] / With two fair Eyes his Miſtreſs burns his Breaſt; / He looks and languiſhes, and leaves his Reſt; / Forſakes his Food, and pining for the Laſs, / Is joyleſs of the Grove, and ſpurns the growing Graſs.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To avoid or shun (someone or something).
    • 1580, Thomas Tusser, “The Authors Beleefe”, in Fiue Hundred Pointes of Good Husbandrie: [], London: [] Henrie Denham [beeing the assigne of William Seres] [], OCLC 837741850; republished as W[illiam] Payne and Sidney J[ohn Hervon] Herrtage, editors, Five Hundred Pointes of Good Husbandrie. [], London: Published for the English Dialect Society by Trübner & Co., [], 1878, OCLC 7391867535, stanza 14, page 196:
      This was that Pascall lambe [i.e., Jesus] whose loue for vs so stood, / That on the mount of Caluerie, for vs did shed his blood: / Where hanging on the Crosse, no shame he did forsake, / Till death giuen him by pearcing speare, an ende of life did make.
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To cause disappointment to; to be insufficient for (someone or something).
    • 1791, Oliver Goldsmith, “Of the Humming-bird, and Its Varieties”, in An History of the Earth, and Animated Nature. [], volume V, new edition, London: [] F[rancis] Wingrave, successor to Mr. [John] Nourse, [], OCLC 877622212, part IV (Of Birds of the Sparrow Kind), page 320:
      Theſe birds, on the continent of America, continue to flutter the year round; as their food, which is the honey of flowers, never forſakes them in thoſe warm latitudes where they are found.

Conjugation[edit]

  • Archaic second-person singular simple present form: forsakest
  • Archaic third-person singular simple present indicative form: forsaketh

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ forsāken, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ forsake, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1897; “forsake, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Low German vorsaken, from Old Saxon farsakan, from Proto-West Germanic *frasakan (to forsake, renounce).

Verb[edit]

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

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

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]