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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English forwernen, from Old English forwærnan, forwoernan, forwiernan (to hinder, prohibit, prevent, repel, refuse, repudiate, deny, withhold, oppose), from Proto-Germanic *fra-, *fur-, *far- (for-) + Proto-Germanic *warnijaną (to care, worry), from Proto-Indo-European *wer- (to close, cover, protect, defend), equivalent to for- +‎ warn (to deny, refuse, forbid).


forwarn (third-person singular simple present forwarns, present participle forwarning, simple past and past participle forwarned)

  1. (transitive) To prohibit; forbid; deny (right, access to, etc.).
    • 1690, Thomas Shadwell, The amorous bigotte:
      Oh Cousin this wicked Duoena, this Grycta suspects the good Woman who brought the Letter, and has forwarn'd her the House.
    • 1708, Samuel Sewall, Diary:
      I meet the Workman by Mr. Pemberton's Gate, and forewarn him from making of it; [...]
    • 1840, Charles Lamb, Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd, The works of Charles Lamb:
      [...] having been caught putting the inside of the master's desk to a use for which the architect had clearly not designed it, to justify himself, with great simplicity averred, that he did not know that the thing had been forewarned.