Definition of forsake in English:

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Pronunciation: /fəˈseɪk/

verb (past forsook /fəˈsʊk/; past participle forsaken /fəˈseɪk(ə)n/)

[with object] chiefly literary
1Abandon or leave: he would never forsake Tara
More example sentences
  • But at some point in life, you must abandon books, forsake the forewarning words of others, and find out for yourself.
  • Will the one who brought them into the land abandon and forsake them now?
  • If back in '64 the system seemed to have abandoned and forsaken people, what of now?
abandon, desert, leave, quit, depart from, leave behind, leave high and dry, turn one's back on, cast aside, give up, reject, disown;
break (up) with, jilt, strand, leave stranded, leave flat, leave in the lurch, throw over, cast aside/off, betray
informal run/walk out on, rat on, drop, dump, ditch, chuck
British informal give someone the push, give someone the elbow, give someone the big E, bin off
North American informal give someone the air
abandoned, deserted, jilted, stranded, discarded, shunned, renounced, betrayed, rejected, disowned
informal dropped, dumped, ditched
desolate, bleak, godforsaken, remote, isolated, sequestered, lonely, solitary, deserted, derelict, dreary, forlorn, uninviting, cheerless, depressing, sad
1.1Renounce or give up (something valued or pleasant): I won’t forsake my vegetarian principles
More example sentences
  • The track counsels people to guard against forsaking their traditional values for foreign ones.
  • But their hi-tech approach doesn't forsake the old values.
  • She forsook her suitors and renounced the comforts of her family home.
renounce, give up, relinquish, dispense with, forgo, desist from, forswear, disclaim, disown, disavow, discard, set aside, wash one's hands of, turn one's back on, repudiate, have done with;
withdraw, drop, do away with, jettison;
betray, renege on
informal ditch, scrap, scrub, axe, junk



Example sentences
  • Not until the forsaker has become the forsaken will there be any forward movement or actions taken responsibility for.


Old English forsacan 'renounce, refuse', of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch verzaken, and ultimately to for- and sake1.

  • sake from Old English:

    Old English sacu ‘contention, crime’ is from a Germanic source, from a base meaning ‘affair, legal action, thing’. The phrase for the sake of was not in Old English and may be from Old Norse. It was originally a legal expression. Sake remains hidden in the language in the words forsake (Old English), which originally meant ‘renounce, refuse’; keepsake (late 18th century) something kept for the sake of the giver; and namesake (mid 17th century) which may be a shortening of ‘for one's name sake’. The Japanese rice wine sake, pronounced with two syllables, is simply the Japanese word for ‘alcohol’. See also seize

Words that rhyme with forsake

ache, awake, bake, betake, Blake, brake, break, cake, crake, drake, fake, flake, hake, Jake, lake, make, mistake, opaque, partake, quake, rake, sake, shake, sheikh, slake, snake, splake, stake, steak, strake, take, undertake, wake, wideawake

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: for|sake

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