Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. Archaic To bring to ruin; destroy.
  • transitive v. Archaic To exhaust utterly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To kill, destroy.
  • v. To annul, abolish, cancel.
  • v. To do away with, undo; to ruin
  • v. To overcome with fatigue; to exhaust.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To destroy; to undo; to ruin.
  • transitive v. To overcome with fatigue; to exhaust.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To do away; undo; destroy; ruin.
  • To exhaust, overpower, or overcome, as by fatigue.

Etymologies

Middle English fordon, from Old English fordōn : for-, for- + dōn, to do; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English fordon, from Old English fordōn ("to undo, bring to naught, ruin, destroy, abolish, kill, corrupt, seduce, defile"), from Proto-Germanic *fardōnan, *fradōnan (“to ruin, destroy”), equivalent to for- +‎ do. Cognate with Dutch verdoen ("to kill, waste"), German vertun ("to waste, spend, consume"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • To exhaust through overwork.

    May 16, 2008