Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To keep or ward off; avert.
  • transitive v. Archaic To forbid.
  • transitive v. To defend or protect.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To prohibit; to forbid; to avert.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To prohibit; to forbid; to avert.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To fend off; avert; forbid.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening

Etymologies

Middle English forfenden : for-, for- + fenden, to ward off; see fend.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English forfenden ("to ward off, protect, prohibit"). More at for- +‎ fend. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • [Footnote: Cf. the prefix "for -" in English "forfend," to keep away, to avert, "forbid," to exclude from, to command against, "forbear," to refrain from, etc.]

    A Complete Grammar of Esperanto

  • I’ll forfend from the typical look at all the vendors photograph, you’ve seen them before.

    Of Coups and Cowboy Hats; my Fall-IN! 2009 Travelogue « Third Point of Singularity

  • This is partly because the work's previous presentation in a Broadway house under the auspices of Cameron Mackintosh, known for blockbuster musicals, stirred up a somewhat antagonistic debate: Is this theater or, h eaven forfend, a ballet?

    Fair Feathered Friends

  • The question itself might seem vaguely offensive, but one has to wonder given the howls about Obama “apologizing for America” anytime he publicly intimates that any past foreign policy of the United States might have been mistaken — or, heaven forfend, even be the source of some degree of international animus against us.

    We Never Make Mistakes

  • It appears to do quite well in the marketplace as things stand, and lumping it together with the mainstream might, heaven forfend, see a decline in the sale of fantasy trilogies.

    October 2009

  • I little knew, and less I cared, for I lived always in the moment and let others forecast, forfend, and travail their anxiety.

    Chapter 15

  • Heaven forfend if Ed had been female: in this sort of ordering, all girls, however talented or aged, come lower than the youngest of boys.

    Why treat Ed Miliband as a younger son who should 'know his place'?

  • Heaven forfend and forbear that we actually admit we have “wiggly bits” under our clothes, much less during “family” viewing hours.

    Blocking the information highway

  • That may or may not be true (Bibi Netanyahu duplicitous — heaven forfend!).

    The Volokh Conspiracy » What’s Going on With Turkey

  • If you write in hopes that others will like what you write or, heaven forfend, like you for writing it, get yourself another hobby.

    John Shore: Four Critical Points for Writers

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