Forfeit means to lose or give up something, usually as a penalty. If you don’t finish your homework and eat all your broccoli, you'll most likely forfeit your right to watch TV before going to bed.

An adjective, noun, and verb all rolled into one, forfeit came into existence around 1300 meaning “to lose by misconduct.” To forfeit is to lose or give up something as punishment for making an error. A forfeit is what is lost. You've probably heard of forfeiting a game or match — like when you don't show up with enough players or pick one too many fights with the opposing team.

Definitions of forfeit
  1. verb
    lose something or lose the right to something by some error, offense, or crime
    “you've forfeited your right to name your successor”
    forfeited property”
    synonyms: forego, forgo, give up, throw overboard, waive
    see moresee less
    arrogate, claim, lay claim
    demand as being one's due or property; assert one's right or title to
    claim, take
    lay claim to; as of an idea
    show more antonyms...
    let slip
    type of:
    forsake, leave behind
  2. noun
    something that is lost or surrendered as a penalty
    synonyms: forfeiture
    see moresee less
    type of:
    something that is lost
  3. noun
    a penalty for a fault or mistake that involves losing or giving up something
    “the contract specified forfeits if the work was not completed on time”
    synonyms: forfeiture
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a payment required for not fulfilling a contract
  4. noun
    the act of losing or surrendering something as a penalty for a mistake or fault or failure to perform etc.
    synonyms: forfeiture, sacrifice
    see moresee less
    type of:
    act, deed, human action, human activity
    something that people do or cause to happen
  5. adjective
    surrendered as a penalty
    synonyms: confiscate, forfeited
    not gained or won
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week