From Middle English forsweren, from Old English forswerian (“to swear falsely”). Cognate with Old Saxon farswerian, Old High German farsweren, German verschwören. More at for- + swear.
- IPA(key): /fə(ɹ)ˈswɛə(ɹ)/, /fɔː(ɹ)ˈswɛə(ɹ)/
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- Rhymes: -ɛə(ɹ)
forswear (third-person singular simple present forswears, present participle forswearing, simple past forswore, past participle forsworn)
- (transitive) To renounce or deny something, especially under oath.
We forswear allegiance and support for the Economic Freedom Fighters.
1726, John Dryden, translating Juvenal, Satires:
Like Innocence, and as serenely bold / As Truth, how loudly He forswears thy Gold!.
1995, Philip Roth, Sabbath's Theater:
Either forswear fucking others or the affair is over.
2008, Philip Roth, Indignation:
The sheer unimaginableness of coming into her mouth — of coming into anything other than the air or a tissue or a dirty sock — was an allurement too stupendous for a novice to forswear.
- (intransitive or reflexive) To commit perjury; to break an oath.
to renounce or deny something, especially under oath