All Words > Forfend

Thursday, October 8

Forfend

[for-FEND]

Part of speech: verb

Origin: Middle English, 14th century

1.

Avert, keep away, or prevent (something evil or unpleasant)

2.

Protect (something) by precautionary measures.

Examples of Forfend in a sentence

"The fence should forfend rabbits getting into the garden."

"We need to rent tents to forfend against any showers during the reception."

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About Forfend

You're more likely to hear the second half of this word in modern conversation. One might fend against sunburn by wearing a hat and long-sleeved shirt. "Defend" has come to serve the purpose of "forfend," but the older term still deserves a place in your vocabulary.

Did you Know?

You might have heard someone exclaim "Heaven forbid!" to express mock horror, but the original version of this phrase was "Heaven forfend." The intention is quite tongue-in-cheek with dismay at the thought of some ill-advised activity taking place.

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