What is the etymology of the word forgiveness?

Posted on January 2, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Etymology

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Gramps,
What is the etymology of the word forgiveness?

Sherry, from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

 

Dear Sherry,
The word forgive comes from the following sources—
Saxon–forgivan. Gothic–fragiban. German–vergeben.Netherlands–vergeeven. Danish–forgiver.

The sense is to give from, that is, away, as we see by the Gothic fra, from. The term in Latin would be remitto. So the meaning of forgive is to pardon or overlook as an offense or a debt, and treat the offender as not guilty. The original and proper phrase is to forgive the offense, to send it away, to reject it, that is, not to impute it to the offender. But by an easy transition we also use the phrase to forgive the offending person.
All of this information is taken from Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of The English Language.
Gramps

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What is the etymology of the word forgiveness? - Ask Gramps - Q and A about Mormon Doctrine
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The word forgive comes from the following sources—Saxon–forgivan. Gothic–fragiban. German–vergeben.Netherlands–vergeeven. Danish–forgiver.

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