• (British) IPA: /fɔːˈbɛə/
  • (America) IPA: /fɔɹˈbɛɚ/

forbear (forbears, present participle forbearing; past forbore, past participle forborne)

  1. (transitive) To keep away from; to avoid; to abstain from.
  2. (intransitive) To refrain from proceeding; to pause; to delay.
    • c. 1596–1598, William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene ii], page 173 ↗:
      Por[tia]. I pray you tarry#English|tarrie, pauſe a day or two / Before you hazard, for in chooſing wrong / I looſe your companie ; therefore forbeare a while, /[...]
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, 1 Kings 22:6 ↗:
      Then the king of Iſrael gathered the prophets together about foure hundred men, and ſaid vnto them, Shall I goe againſt Ramoth Gilead to battell, or ſhall I forbeare? [...]
  3. (intransitive) To refuse; to decline; to withsay; to unheed.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Ezekiel 2:7 ↗:
      And thou ſhalt ſpeake my words vnto them, whether they will heare or whether they will forbeare, for they are moſt rebellious.
  4. (intransitive) To control oneself when provoked.
    • The kindest and the happiest pair / Will find occasion to forbear.
    • Both bear and forbear.
Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • French: se retenir, garder son sang froid
  • Russian: быть терпеливый
  • Spanish: retenerse
  • (British) IPA: /ˈfɔː.bɛə/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈfɔɹ.bɛɚ/

forbear (plural forbears)

  1. Alternative spelling of forebear
    • [1906] 2004, Memoirs of the Lord of Joinville, Ethel Wedgwood tr.
      Sirs, I am quite sure that the King of England's forbears rightly and justly lost the conquered lands that I hold [...]
    • [1936] 2004, Raymond William Firth, We the Tikopia
      One does not take one’s family name therefrom, and again the position of the mother in that group is determined through her father and his male forbears in turn; this too is a patrilineal group.

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