Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • See forgo.
  • To go before; precede.
  • To go forward; go on.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To quit; to relinquish; to leave.
  • transitive verb To relinquish the enjoyment or advantage of; to give up; to resign; to renounce; -- said of a thing already enjoyed, or of one within reach, or anticipated.
  • transitive verb To go before; to precede; -- used especially in the present and past participles.
  • transitive verb a conclusion which has preceded argument or examination; a predetermined conclusion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb Alternative spelling of forgo; to abandon, to relinquish
  • verb To precede, to go before.

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

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

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English foregān, corresponding to fore- +‎ go.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

See forgo

Examples

  • To forego means “to go before” – the matching fore in forego and before is a handy way to remember the correct form:

    Forego and forgo

  • An overlap complicates things slightly: forego is a variant spelling of forgo (“abstain, renounce, do without”) but the reverse is not the case, so avoiding this variation will help retain a useful distinction.

    Forego and forgo

  • To forego means “to go before” – the matching fore in forego and before is a handy way to remember the correct form:

    July « 2008 « Sentence first

  • An overlap complicates things slightly: forego is a variant spelling of forgo (“abstain, renounce, do without”) but the reverse is not the case, so avoiding this variation will help retain a useful distinction.

    July « 2008 « Sentence first

  • Contemplatives, in short, forego many transient pleasures, many satisfactions sweet to nature, all that the world holds most dear; but they gain in return a liberty for the soul which enables it to rise without hindrance to the thought and love of God.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 4: Clandestinity-Diocesan Chancery

  • But "forego" (as distinct from foregoing) is almost always wrong.

    Christian Science Monitor | All Stories

  • But "forego" (as distinct from foregoing) is almost always wrong.

    Christian Science Monitor | All Stories

  • I prefer to see "forego" used in the sense of "precede," e.g.,

    BigHominid's Hairy Chasms

  • It grates on me every time I see "forego" used in place of "forgo" (to do without).

    BigHominid's Hairy Chasms

  • At the time these cuts were announced, at least one member of the Office of the Publisher stated in an e-mail that all three would "forego" bonuses.

    The Minnesota Daily - mndaily.com

Comments

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  • To be prescriptive about spelling, which I occasionally am, this word should never be seen except in the expression foregone conclusion (and possibly the foregoing).

    'Why is that?' <-- READER'S VOICE

    Because, amiable reader, we have a perfectly good spelling distinction between fore- with a literal or metaphorical meaning of "before" in space or time (forecourt, forequarters, forehead, foreground; forethought, foreordain, foreshadow) and the different prefix for- with an obscure meaning vaguely like "completely" or "off, away"—and to forgo is to do without, to forbear is to put up with; whereas a forebear is one born before. In actual usage this distinction is mostly adhered to. Less tears would be shed by the meaner kind of spellers if we kept piously to it.

    June 19, 2009

  • *weeps*

    June 19, 2009

  • one wonders when and why this variant (and it is legitimately listed by M-W as a variant) arose, as the etymology puts 'forgo' down as for- and go, sans 'e'.

    you've got a bit of The Duchess in your prose style, qroqqa.

    June 20, 2009