forget [fer-get] Word Origin verb (used with object), for·got or (Archaic) for·gat; for·got·ten or for·got; for·get·ting.

  1. to cease or fail to remember; be unable to recall: to forget someone’s name.
  2. to omit or neglect unintentionally: I forgot to shut the window before leaving.
  3. to leave behind unintentionally; neglect to take: to forget one’s keys.
  4. to omit mentioning; leave unnoticed.
  5. to fail to think of; take no note of.
  6. to neglect willfully; disregard or slight.

verb (used without object), for·got or (Archaic) for·gat; for·got·ten or for·got; for·get·ting.

  1. to cease or omit to think of something.


  1. forget oneself, to say or do something improper or unbefitting one’s rank, position, or character.

Origin of forget before 900; for- + get; replacing Middle English foryeten, Old English forg(i)etan; cognate with Old Saxon fargetan, Old High German firgezzan Related formsfor·get·ta·ble, adjectivefor·get·ter, nounun·for·get·ting, adjectiveUsage note Both forgot and forgotten are used as the past participle of forget : Many have already forgot (or forgotten ) the hard times of the Depression. Only forgotten is used attributively: half-forgotten memories. British Dictionary definitions for forget oneself forget verb -gets, -getting or -got or -gotten or archaic, dialect -got

  1. (when tr, may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to fail to recall (someone or something once known); be unable to remember
  2. (tr; may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to neglect, usually as the result of an unintentional error
  3. (tr) to leave behind by mistake
  4. (tr) to disregard intentionally
  5. (when tr, may take a clause as object) to fail to mention
  6. forget oneself
    1. to act in an improper manner
    2. to be unselfish
    3. to be deep in thought
  7. forget it! an exclamation of annoyed or forgiving dismissal of a matter or topic

Derived Formsforgettable, adjectiveforgetter, nounWord Origin for forget Old English forgietan; related to Old Frisian forgeta, Old Saxon fargetan, Old High German firgezzan Word Origin and History for forget oneself forget v.

Old English forgietan, from for-, used here with negative force, “away, amiss, opposite” + gietan “to grasp” (see get). To “un-get,” hence “to lose” from the mind. A common Germanic construction (cf. Old Saxon fargetan, Old Frisian forjeta, Dutch vergeten, Old High German firgezzan, German vergessen “to forget”). The literal sense would be “to lose (one’s) grip on,” but that is not recorded in any Germanic language. Related: Forgetting; forgot; forgotten.

Idioms and Phrases with forget oneself forget oneself

Lose one’s reserve, temper, or self-restraint; do or say something out of keeping with one’s position or character. For example, A teacher should never forget herself and shout at the class. Shakespeare used it in Richard II (3:2): “I had forgot myself: am I not king?” [Late 1500s]


In addition to the idiom beginning with forget

  • forget it
  • forget oneself
  • also see:

  • forgive and forget
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