forfeit [fawr-fit] SynonymsExamplesWord Origin noun

  1. a fine; penalty.
  2. an act of forfeiting; forfeiture.
  3. something to which the right is lost, as for commission of a crime or misdeed, neglect of duty, or violation of a contract.
  4. an article deposited in a game because of a mistake and redeemable by a fine or penalty.
  5. forfeits, (used with a singular verb) a game in which such articles are taken from the players.

verb (used with object)

  1. to subject to seizure as a forfeit.
  2. to lose or become liable to lose, as in consequence of crime, fault, or breach of engagement.


  1. lost or subject to loss by forfeiture.

Origin of forfeit 1250–1300; Middle English forfet Old French (past participle of forfaire to commit crime, to lose possession or right through a criminal act) Medieval Latin forīs factum penalty, past participle of forīs facere to transgress, equivalent to Latin forīs outside, wrongly + facere to make, doRelated formsfor·feit·a·ble, adjectivefor·feit·er, nounnon·for·feit·a·ble, adjectivenon·for·feit·ing, adjectivere·for·feit, verb (used with object)un·for·feit·a·ble, adjectiveun·for·feit·ed, adjectiveun·for·feit·ing, adjectiveSynonyms for forfeit 7. surrender, yield, relinquish, forgo, waive. Examples from the Web for forfeitable Historical Examples of forfeitable

  • This commission was forfeitable for acts of cruelty or misconduct.

    The Sailor’s Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • A license is not forfeitable for non-payment of royalties in the absence of express provisions to that effect.

    Practical Pointers for Patentees

    Franklin Cresee

  • British Dictionary definitions for forfeitable forfeit noun

    1. something lost or given up as a penalty for a fault, mistake, etc
    2. the act of losing or surrendering something in this manner
    3. law something confiscated as a penalty for an offence, breach of contract, etc
    4. (sometimes plural)
      1. a game in which a player has to give up an object, perform a specified action, etc, if he commits a fault
      2. an object so given up


    1. (tr) to lose or be liable to lose in consequence of a mistake, fault, etc
    2. (tr) law
      1. to confiscate as punishment
      2. to surrender (something exacted as a penalty)


    1. surrendered or liable to be surrendered as a penalty

    Derived Formsforfeitable, adjectiveforfeiter, nounWord Origin for forfeit C13: from Old French forfet offence, from forfaire to commit a crime, from Medieval Latin foris facere to act outside (what is lawful), from Latin foris outside + facere to do Word Origin and History for forfeitable forfeit n.

    c.1300, “misdeed,” from Old French forfait “crime, punishable offense” (12c.), originally past participle of forfaire “transgress,” from for- “outside, beyond” (from Latin foris; see foreign) + faire “to do” (from Latin facere; see factitious). Translating Medieval Latin foris factum. Sense shifted mid-15c. from the crime to the penalty: “something to which the right is lost through a misdeed.” As an adjective from late 14c., from Old French forfait.

    forfeit v.

    c.1300, “to lose by misconduct;” see forfeit (n.). Related: Forfeited; forfeiting.

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