forswear

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

forswear (third-person singular simple present forswears, present participle forswearing, simple past forswore, past participle forsworn)

  1. (transitive) To renounce or deny something, especially under oath.
    • 1592, William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew:
      Never to woo her more; but do forswear her.
    • 1726, John Dryden, translating Juvenal, Satires[1]:
      Like Innocence, and as serenely bold / As Truth, how loudly He forswears thy Gold!.
    • 1995, Philip Roth, Sabbath's Theater[2]:
      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.
  2. (intransitive) To commit perjury.
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