What does forbid mean?

Definitions for forbid
fərˈbɪd, fɔr-for·bid

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word forbid.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. forbid, prohibit, interdict, proscribe, veto, disallow, nixverb

    command against

    "I forbid you to call me late at night"; "Mother vetoed the trip to the chocolate store"; "Dad nixed our plans"

  2. prevent, forestall, foreclose, preclude, forbidverb

    keep from happening or arising; make impossible

    "My sense of tact forbids an honest answer"; "Your role in the projects precludes your involvement in the competitive project"


  1. forbidverb

    To disallow

  2. forbidverb

    To proscribe

  3. Etymology: From forbeden, from forbeodan, equivalent to. Cognate with verbieden, verbieten, förbjuda.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To FORBIDverb

    pret. I forbade; part. forbidden or forbid.

    Etymology: forbeodan , Saxon; verbieden, Dutch.

    A witch, a quean, an old cozening quean; have I not forbid her my house? William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor.

    By tasting of that fruit forbid,
    Where they sought knowledge, they did error find. Davies.

    The voice of reason, in all the dictates of natural morality, ought carefully to be attended to, by a strict observance of what it commands, but especially of what it forbids. South.

    All hatred of persons, by very many Christian principles, we are most solemnly and indispensably forbid. Thomas Sprat, Serm.

    The chaste and holy race
    Are all forbidden this polluted place. John Dryden, Æn. b. vi.

    She with so sweet a rigour forbad him, that he durst not rebel. Philip Sidney, b. ii.

    It is the shameful work of Hubert’s hand,
    The practice and the purpose of the king,
    From whose obedience I forbid my soul. William Shakespeare.

    They have determined to consume all those things that God hath forbidden them to eat by his laws. Judith xi. 12.

    The moisture being forbidden to come up in the plant, stayeth longer in the root, and so dilateth it. Francis Bacon, Nat. History.

    The plaister alone would pen the humour, and so exasperate it as well as forbid new humour. Francis Bacon, Natural History.

    Thy throne is darkness in th’ abyss of light,
    A blaze of glory that forbids the sight!
    O teach me to believe thee thus conceal’d,
    And search no farther than thyself reveal’d. Dryden.

    Sleep shall neither night nor day
    Hang upon his penthouse lid;
    He shall live a man forbid. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

  2. To Forbidverb

    To utter a prohibition.

    Now the good gods forbid,
    That our renowned Rome
    Should now eat up her own! William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.


  1. forbid

    To forbid means to officially or authoritatively command or instruct someone not to do something; to disallow, prohibit or prevent a certain action or behavior. It can also refer to making something impossible due to particular circumstances or rules.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Forbid

    of Forbid

  2. Forbidverb

    to command against, or contrary to; to prohibit; to interdict

  3. Forbidverb

    to deny, exclude from, or warn off, by express command; to command not to enter

  4. Forbidverb

    to oppose, hinder, or prevent, as if by an effectual command; as, an impassable river forbids the approach of the army

  5. Forbidverb

    to accurse; to blast

  6. Forbidverb

    to defy; to challenge

  7. Forbidverb

    to utter a prohibition; to prevent; to hinder

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Forbid

    for-bid′, v.t. to prohibit: to command not to do: (Shak.) to restrain.—n. Forbid′dance, prohibition: command or edict against a thing.—adj. Forbid′den, prohibited: unlawful.—adv. Forbid′denly (Shak.), in a forbidden or unlawful manner.—adj. Forbid′ding, repulsive: raising dislike: unpleasant.—adv. Forbid′dingly.—n. Forbid′dingness.—Forbidden, or Prohibited, degrees, degrees of consanguinity within which marriage is not allowed; Forbidden fruit, or Adam's apple, a name fancifully given to the fruit of various species of Citrus, esp. to one having tooth-marks on its rind. [A.S. forbéodan, pa.t. forbéad, pa.p. forboden. See pfx. for-, and bid; cf. Ger. verbieten.]

Suggested Resources

  1. Forbid

    Forbid vs. Prohibit -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Forbid and Prohibit.

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'forbid' in Verbs Frequency: #932

How to pronounce forbid?

How to say forbid in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of forbid in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of forbid in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of forbid in a Sentence

  1. Marc Friedland:

    Plan A and Plan B, just in case, God forbid, anything happens.

  2. Rebecca West:

    God forbid that any book should be banned. The practice is as indefensible as infanticide.

  3. New York Criminal Defense Attorney Julie Rendelman:

    Obviously, the concern is always that, God forbid, something happens tomorrow where an individual provides a drunk driver information that a checkpoint is ahead -- he avoids it -- and kills two people. Then people are going to start to ask those questions of: Should the person who provided that information also be held criminally responsible?

  4. Dietrich Murswiek:

    The ECB has stepped beyond its remit. The European court should forbid the ECB from doing this, you can draw parallels with quantitative easing. From my point of view, QE is also beyond its remit. This can also lead to legal action.

  5. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani:

    The result is that America has been secure, thank God, there's been no terrorist attack on mainland United States. We have been the front line. Meanwhile, what needs to be underlined is while tragedy brought us together, there are common interests that now can be articulated very clearly. The threats that we are facing on a daily basis, were they, God forbid, to overwhelm us, will threaten the world at large.

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Translations for forbid

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"forbid." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 3 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/forbid>.

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    fill with high spirits; fill with optimism
    • A. cleave
    • B. efface
    • C. render
    • D. elate

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