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Definition refraining (holding back) from acting


patience, tolerance, or self-control

The form, forbears is typically a verb, but can be an alternate spelling of the noun forebears; i.e., ancestors. Note that these words put the emphasis on different syllables:  for-BEARS v. FORE-bears
  • She recommended regulatory forbearance while the banks repair their balance sheets.
forbearance = refraining (holding back) from acting
  • We are to be tested in our patience, our forbearance, our perseverance, our power to endure wrong...
  • forbearance = patience, tolerance, or self-control
  • As neither can CONTROL the other, each will have an obvious and sensible interest in this reciprocal forbearance.
    Hamilton, Alexander  --  Federalist Papers Authored by Alexander Hamilton
  • ...there are some traits in her character which make it difficult for me to speak of her with the forbearance I could wish.
    Jane Austen  --  Emma
  • She really liked and admired Emily; and, as the elder woman and the hostess, she set an example of forbearance and good humor.
    Collins, Wilkie  --  I Say No
  • We are to be tested in our patience, our forbearance, our perseverance, our power to endure wrong...
    Booker T. Washington  --  Up From Slavery: An Autobiography
  • forbearance = patience, tolerance, or self-control
  • The guards, too, treated the common criminals with a certain forbearance, even when they had to handle them roughly.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • forbearance = patience or self-control
  • The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business.
    Charles Dickens  --  A Christmas Carol
  • forbearance = good natured tolerance and restraint
  • Forbear this outrage!
    William Shakespeare  --  Romeo and Juliet
  • forbear = stop
  • Edmund saw weariness and distress in her face, and immediately resolved to forbear all farther discussion; and not even to mention the name of Crawford again, except as it might be connected with what must be agreeable to her.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • forbear = refrain from
  • Either forbear, quit presently the chapel, or resolve you for more amazement.
    William Shakespeare  --  The Winter's Tale
  • forbear = stop (refrain from acting)
  • Love, lend me patience to forbear awhile.
    William Shakespeare  --  The Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • forbear = refrain (hold back) from acting
  • It was rightly guessed that I could not forbear to redeem the Arkenstone, the treasure of my house.
    J.R.R. Tolkien  --  The Hobbit
  • forbear = refrain (hold back)
  • Forbear, for shame, my lords.
    William Shakespeare  --  Henry VIII
  • forbear = refrain (hold back) from acting
  • For love of God, forbear him!
    William Shakespeare  --  Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
  • forbear = stop (hold back from acting)
  • Starbuck grasped Ahab by the arm—"God, God is against thee, old man; forbear!"
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • forbear = refrain
  • If ... you appeal to my forbearance, and the mercy of those you have deeply injured, ...
    Charles Dickens  --  Oliver Twist
  • forbearance = tolerance (to hold back from acting)
  • We looked at each other, trembling on the brink of a quarrel, bitterness parting the threads of forbearance one by one,
    Kamala Markandaya  --  Nectar in a Sieve
  • forbearance = refraining (holding back) from acting


    patience, tolerance, or self-control
  • Take of my fruit for others or forbear,
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Magician's Nephew
  • forbear = refrain (hold back)
  • ...and he seems to have felt pity for her, and forbearance towards her.
    Charles Dickens  --  Great Expectations
forbearance = patience or tolerance

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