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Legal Dictionary

forfeit

Definition of forfeit

Etymology

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

Pronunciation

  • IPA: /ˈf"ː.fɪt/, SAMPA: /"fO:.fIt/
  • Rhymes: -"ː(r)fɪt

Noun

forfeit (plural forfeits)

  1. a penalty for or consequence of a misdemeanor

    That he our deadly forfeit should release (John Milton, On the Morning of Christ's Nativity, 1629)

Verb

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

  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

Usage notes

  • Forfeit was the past and past participle before the 19th century.

Synonyms

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

Further reading

Forfeit or forfeiture may refer to:

References:

  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.



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