Definition of forfend in English:

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Pronunciation: /fôrˈfend/


[with object]
1 archaic Avert, keep away, or prevent (something evil or unpleasant).
Example sentences
  • This forfends what one may call the natural development of the natural man so overlaid with social man.
  • Brenda forfended this possibility by isolating groups of sculptures inside a designated pathway: they stood aloof from touch save by imagination.
  • Thus a tradition died, and thus the Masters and Wardens of today rejoice in a happy immunity, all unknowing of the danger their predecessors forfended.
2 (also forefend) US Protect (something) by precautionary measures.
Example sentences
  • Deliberation is worth gold and stocks, and it forefends against sorrow.
  • The appellant, while admitting that the people may protect themselves against abuses of the freedom of speech safeguarded by the Fourteenth Amendment by prohibiting incitement to violence and crime insists that legislative regulation may not go beyond measures forefending against ‘clear and present danger’ of the use of force against the state.


Heaven (or God) forfend

archaic or humorous Used to express dismay or horror at the thought of something happening: Invite him back? Heaven forfend! God forfend that we should allow the media to tell us how to run our business
More example sentences
  • And if, Heaven forfend, these disasters do occur, any Democratic candidate could win next year.
  • You remind me of my grandmother, who almost never said anything serious (Heaven forfend) but once, when I was a student, she wrote me a letter full of wisdom, which I have kept.
  • You are at the whim of someone else's emotions as they ‘improvise’ but never drawn into it, or even invited in, unless there's a bit with a motif or, God forfend, a tune.

Words that rhyme with forfend

amend, append, apprehend, ascend, attend, befriend, bend, blend, blende, commend, comprehend, condescend, contend, defriend, depend, emend, end, expend, extend, fend, friend, impend, interdepend, lend, mend, misapprehend, misspend, offend, on-trend, Oostende, Ostend, perpend, portend, rend, reprehend, scrag-end, send, spend, subtend, suspend, tail end, tend, transcend, trend, underspend, unfriend, upend, vend, weekend, wend

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: for·fend

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