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From Middle English fortaken, equivalent to for- +‎ take. Cognate with Norwegian dialectal fortaka (to assail, assault), Swedish förta (to deprive, take away, deaden).


fortake (third-person singular simple present fortakes, present participle fortaking, simple past fortook, past participle fortaken)

  1. (transitive) To take away; remove; deprive.
    • 1861, Thomas Oswald Cockayne, Spoon and sparrow:
      Be ye not willing to hoard to you gold hoards on earth, where rust and moth fortake it, and where thieves delve it and forsteal, [...]
    • 1866, Couldrette, Walter William Skeat, The romans of Partenay, or of Lusignen:
      With thys fair lady ther fortake ueryly, [...]
    • 1898, Stopford Augustus Brooke, English literature: from the beginning to the Norman conquest:
      In a slaughter wide they fell, woeful days of Bale came on; Famine-death fortook fortitude from men!
  2. (transitive, Britain dialectal) To mistake; make a mistake.
  3. (transitive, Britain dialectal) To aim or deal a blow at; hit.