forego vs forfeit what difference

what is difference between forego and forfeit



  • (UK) IPA(key): /fɔːˈɡəʊ/
  • Homophone: forgo

Etymology 1

From Middle English forgan, from Old English foregān, equivalent to fore- +‎ go.


forego (third-person singular simple present foregoes, present participle foregoing, simple past forewent, past participle foregone)

  1. To precede, to go before.
    • 1815, William Wordsworth, Methought I saw
      pleasing remembrance of a thought foregone
Usage notes
  • The sense to precede is usually found in the form of the participles foregone (especially in the phrase “a foregone conclusion”) and foregoing (usually used either attributively, as in “the foregoing discussion”, or substantively, as in “subject to the foregoing”).
  • antecede, come before; see also Thesaurus:precede

Etymology 2

See forgo


forego (third-person singular simple present foregoes, present participle foregoing, simple past forewent, past participle foregone)

  1. Alternative spelling of forgo; to abandon, to relinquish
    • 1762, Waller, T., The White Witch of the Wood, or the Devil of Broxbon, in The Beauties of all the Magazines Selected, for the Year 1762, Vol. I (February), page 34:
      […] for on no other terms does she desire a reconciliation, but will sooner forego all the hopes to which her birth entitles her, and get her bread by service, than ever yield to become the wife of the ——.
Usage notes
  • Many writers prefer the spelling forgo for this sense, on the grounds that it avoids ambiguity with forego “to precede”, especially in aspects such as “forgoing”/”foregoing” and “forgone”/”foregone”.


  • forego in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
  • forego in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.


  • goofer



Middle English forfait from ca. 1300, from Old French forfait (crime), originally the past participle of forfaire (to transgress), and Medieval Latin foris factum. During the 15th century, the sense shifted from the crime to the penalty for the crime.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈfɔː.fɪt/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˈfɔɹ.fɪt/
  • Rhymes: -ɔː(ɹ)fɪt


forfeit (countable and uncountable, plural forfeits)

  1. A penalty for or consequence of a misdemeanor.
    • 1629, John Milton, On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity
      That he our deadly forfeit should release
  2. A thing forfeited; that which is taken from somebody in requital of a misdeed committed; that which is lost, or the right to which is alienated, by a crime, breach of contract, etc.
    He who murders pays the forfeit of his own life.
  3. Something deposited and redeemable by a sportive fine as part of a game.
    • Country dances and forfeits shortened the rest of the day.
  4. (obsolete, rare) Injury; wrong; mischief.
    • a. 1789, Barry St. Leger, Siege of Nicopolis
      to seek arms upon people and country that never did us any forfeit



forfeit (third-person singular simple present forfeits, present participle forfeiting, simple past and past participle forfeited or (rare) forfeit)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. To be guilty of a misdeed; to be criminal; to transgress.
  4. To fail to keep an obligation.


  • (lose a contest): capitulate, surrender, disqualify
  • (voluntarily give up): forgo, withgo

Derived terms



forfeit (not comparable)

  1. Lost or alienated for an offense or crime; liable to penal seizure.
    • 1867, Ralph Waldo Emerson, May-Day
      to tread the forfeit paradise


  • toffier

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