What does forfeit mean?

Definitions for forfeit
ˈfɔr fɪtfor·feit

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word forfeit.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. forfeit, forfeiturenoun

    something that is lost or surrendered as a penalty;

  2. forfeit, forfeiturenoun

    a penalty for a fault or mistake that involves losing or giving up something

    "the contract specified forfeits if the work was not completed on time"

  3. forfeit, forfeiture, sacrificeadjective

    the act of losing or surrendering something as a penalty for a mistake or fault or failure to perform etc.

  4. confiscate, forfeit, forfeitedverb

    surrendered as a penalty

  5. forfeit, give up, throw overboard, waive, forgo, foregoverb

    lose (s.th.) or lose the right to (s.th.) by some error, offense, or crime

    "you've forfeited your right to name your successor"; "forfeited property"


  1. forfeitnoun

    a penalty for or consequence of a misdemeanor

  2. forfeitverb

    To suffer the loss of something by wrongdoing or non-compliance

    He forfeited his last chance of an early release from jail by repeatedly attacking another inmate.

  3. forfeitverb

    To lose a contest, game, match, or other form of competition by voluntary withdrawal, by failing to attend or participate, or by violation of the rules

    Because only nine players were present, the football team was forced to forfeit the game.

  4. Etymology: Middle English from ca. 1300, from Old French forfait "crime", originally the past participle of forfaire "transgress", ad Middle Latin foris factum. During the 15th century, the sense shifted from the crime to the penalty for the crime.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. FORFEITnoun

    Etymology: forfait, French; fforfed, Welsh.

    Thy slanders I forgive, and therewithal
    Remit thy other forfeits. William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure.

    Th’ execution leave to high disposal,
    And let another hand, not thine, exact
    Thy penal forfeit from thyself. John Milton, Agonistes, l. 506.

    Thy life, Melantius! I am come to take,
    Of which foul treason does a forfeit make. Edmund Waller.

    Your brother is a forfeit of the law,
    And you but waste your words. William Shakespeare, Meas. for Measure.

    Claudio, whom here you have warrant to execute, is no greater forfeit to the law than Angelo, who hath sentenced him. William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure.

  2. Forfeitparticipial adj.

    Liable to penal seizure; alienated by a crime; lost either as to the right or possession, by breach of conditions.

    Etymology: from the verb.

    All the souls that are, were forfeit once;
    And he that might the ’vantage best have took,
    Found out the remedy. William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure.

    Beg that thou may’st have leave to hang thyself;
    And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the state,
    Thou hast not left the value of a cord. William Shakespeare.

    This now senceless world,
    Forfeit to death. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. x. l. 303.

    Straight all his hopes exhal’d in empty smoke,
    And his long toils were forfeit for a look. John Dryden, Virg. Geor.

    Methought with wond’rous ease he swallow’d down
    His forfeit honour, to betray the town. John Dryden, Indian Emp.

    How the murd’rer paid his forfeit breath;
    What lands so distant from that scene of death,
    But trembling heard the fame! Alexander Pope, Odyssey, b. iii.

  3. To Forfeitverb

    To lose by some breach of condition; to lose by some offence.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    If then a man, on light conditions, gain
    A great estate to him, and his, for ever;
    If wilfully he forfeit it again,
    Who doth bemoan his heir, or blame the giver? Davies.

    Men displeased God, and consequently forfeited all right to happiness. Boyle.

    A father cannot alien the power he has over his child: he may perhaps to some degrees forfeit it, but cannot transfer it. John Locke.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Forfeitnoun

    injury; wrong; mischief

  2. Forfeitnoun

    a thing forfeit or forfeited; what is or may be taken from one in requital of a misdeed committed; that which is lost, or the right to which is alienated, by a crime, offense, neglect of duty, or breach of contract; hence, a fine; a mulct; a penalty; as, he who murders pays the forfeit of his life

  3. Forfeitnoun

    something deposited and redeemable by a sportive fine; -- whence the game of forfeits

  4. Forfeitnoun

    lost or alienated for an offense or crime; liable to penal seizure

  5. Forfeitnoun

    to lose, or lose the right to, by some error, fault, offense, or crime; to render one's self by misdeed liable to be deprived of; to alienate the right to possess, by some neglect or crime; as, to forfeit an estate by treason; to forfeit reputation by a breach of promise; -- with to before the one acquiring what is forfeited

  6. Forfeitverb

    to be guilty of a misdeed; to be criminal; to transgress

  7. Forfeitverb

    to fail to keep an obligation

  8. Forfeit

    in the condition of being forfeited; subject to alienation

  9. Etymology: [OE. forfeten. See Forfeit, n.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Forfeit

    for′fit, v.t. to lose the right to by some fault or crime:—pr.p. for′feiting; pa.p. for′feited.n. that which is forfeited: a penalty for a crime, or breach of some condition: a fine: something deposited and redeemable by a sportive fine or penalty, esp. in pl., a game of this kind.—adj. forfeited.—adj. For′feitable.—ns. For′feiter (Shak.), one who incurs punishment by forfeiting his bond; For′feiture, act of forfeiting: state of being forfeited: the thing forfeited. [O. Fr. forfait—Low L. forisfactum—L. forisfacĕre, to transgress.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. forfeit

    To render oneself by misdeeds liable to be deprived of; as, a soldier forfeits pay by sentence of court-martial for offenses committed.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce forfeit?

How to say forfeit in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of forfeit in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of forfeit in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of forfeit in a Sentence

  1. Cook County prosecutors:

    After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollett's volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit Jussie Smollett bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case.

  2. Lane Kiffin:

    Nobody wants to be in a position to forfeit games.

  3. Larry Hogan:

    Lamar’s gotta get (vaccinated), with the rules the NFL put down, I can’t imagine a team wanting to forfeit a game or lose a chance at the playoffs and none of the players getting paid because someone won’t get a vaccine.

  4. Vanna Bonta:

    The primary dues a writer or any artist pays is to remain sentient, and to forfeit the illusionary luxury of such anesthetics as avoidance, numbness, and denials.

  5. Daphne Keller:

    There was a lull, but I think the lull is over. there was pretty broad consensus that this was an emergency and you could take emergency measures and forfeit some other priorities in the name of public health.

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Translations for forfeit

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • مصادرةArabic
  • губя, лишавам се от, глобаBulgarian
  • prohrát kontumačněCzech
  • aufgeben, verwirkenGerman
  • χάνω, τίμημα, πρόστιμο, στερούμαιGreek
  • rendir, perderSpanish
  • perdre, abandonner, déclarer forfaitFrench
  • pionósIrish
  • caillScottish Gaelic
  • अर्थदंडHindi
  • perdoLatin
  • opgeven, verliezen, verbeuren, verkwanselenDutch
  • stracić, zrezygnować, zrzec sięPolish
  • perder, penalidade, desistir, render-sePortuguese
  • сдаться, утратить, сдаваться, лишаться, расплата, лишиться, утрачивать, штрафRussian
  • izgubiti, predatiSerbo-Croatian
  • stratiť, pokuta, prepadnúť, vzdať, penáleSlovak
  • walk overSwedish
  • 丧失Chinese

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    a state of dishonor
    • A. pluck
    • B. brasserie
    • C. ignominy
    • D. peccadillo

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