Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To abstain from; relinquish: unwilling to forgo dessert.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To let pass, to leave alone
  • v. To do without, to abandon
  • v. To refrain from, to abstain from, to pass up, to withgo.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To pass by; to leave. See 1st forego.
  • transitive v. to abstain from; to do without; to refrain from; to renounce; -- said of a thing already enjoyed, or of one within reach, or anticipated. See 1st forego, 2.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To go or pass by without claiming; forbear to possess, use, or do; voluntarily avoid or give up; renounce; resign.
  • To quit; leave.
  • Synonyms To yield, relinquish, let go.
  • A Middle English form of forego.

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

  • v. do without or cease to hold or adhere to
  • v. lose (s.th.) or lose the right to (s.th.) by some error, offense, or crime
  • v. be earlier in time; go back further

Etymologies

Middle English forgon, from Old English forgān, go away, forgo : for-, for- + gān, to go; see ghē- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English forgon ("to go by, pass up"), from Old English forgān ("to go away, forgo"). More at for- +‎ go. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In me all human knowledge dwells, the oracle of oracles, past, present, future I reveal or in oblivion's silence seal; What I can preserve can perish never, what I forgo is lost forever.

    Canada—A Community of Communities

  • If he'd handed in essays he might have learned to spell. "forgo".

    Get the Best Education in the World, Absolutely Free!, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • It should be "forgo" (i.e. go without) not "forego" (i.e. go before).

    The Independent - Frontpage RSS Feed

  • And yet the press reports that Vikram Pandit and Win Bischoff will "forgo" their bonuses this year, while Pandit himself tells Citi employees that Bob Rubin "has elected to take no bonus" for 2008.

    SeekingAlpha.com: Home Page

  • If they had to choose between being a big, rich world power as against retaining the cultural essence of Japan, they would rather be Switzerland and forgo the role of player in world affairs.

    The Good Fight

  • The survey of 2,000 people found that 28% of middle Britons – by age and by wealth – throughout the UK will forgo a holiday altogether, while this figure rose to 38% of those questioned in the south-east.

    Middle Britons to forgo holiday abroad

  • The union said Virgin Atlantic pilots have not had a pay rise since 2008 after agreeing to forgo an increase to help the company, with the expectation of a "fair" hike this year.

    Virgin pilots 'to vote for strike'

  • He would forgo his big staff car for a smaller model, still helmed by his driver, Tex, and sporting pennants with three stars.

    A Covert Affair

  • The next test of the taboo was Vietnam where both Lyndon Johnson and even Richard Nixon at his maddest decided to forgo using nukes.

    How the End Begins

  • Kristi Newmeyer Jenkins, 36, of Cape Coral, Fla., said her family will forgo a summer trip to visit family and friends "up north."

    7 in 10 Americans say high gas prices hurt

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