Definition of one could or may be forgiven for doing something in English:

one could (or may) be forgiven for doing something

It would be understandable if one mistakenly did a particular thing: with the plaster palm trees, you could be forgiven for thinking you were on Hollywood Boulevard
More example sentences
  • The Great Yorkshire Show, of course, takes great pride in the livestock on display, although with names like British Belgian Blue and Lincoln Red you could be forgiven for mistaking the names of cattle for cheeses.
  • From the outside, with the sounds of laughing children and chooks and the overgrown fence line, you could be forgiven for mistaking Cubbies for some sort of hippy commune.
  • For many, however, the prospect of even trying pink nail varnish on your fingers is a step too far and, by now, you may be forgiven for feeling the only pink that will do is a pink gin.
See parent entry: forgive

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