Eschew vs Forbear - What's the difference?

eschew | forbear |

As verbs the difference between eschew and forbear

is that eschew is (formal) to avoid; to shun, to shy away from while forbear is to keep away from; to avoid; to abstain from; to give up.

As a noun forbear is





(en verb)
  • (formal) To avoid; to shun, to shy away from.
  • Usage notes

    * The verb is not normally applied to the avoidance or shunning of a person or physical object, but rather, only to the avoidance or shunning of an idea, concept, or other intangible.


    {{timeline , 1500s=1599 , 1900s=1927 , 2010s=2014}} * *: What cannot be eschew’d must be embrac’d. * 1927 , *: He could afford no servants, and would admit but few visitors to his absolute solitude; eschewing close friendships and receiving his rare acquaintances in one of the three ground-floor rooms which he kept in order. * '>citation

    Derived terms

    * (l)




    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) forberen, from (etyl) . (got)


  • To keep away from; to avoid; to abstain from; to give up.
  • To refrain from proceeding; to pause; to delay.
  • * Bible, 1 Kings xxii. 6
  • Shall I go to battle, or shall I forbear ?
  • To refuse; to decline; to give no heed.
  • * Bible, Ezekiel ii. 7
  • Thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear .
  • To control oneself when provoked.
  • * Cowper
  • The kindest and the happiest pair / Will find occasion to forbear .
  • * Old proverb
  • Both bear and forbear .

    Etymology 2


    (en noun)
  • * [1906] 2004, Memoirs of the Lord of Joinville, Ethel Wedgwood tr.
  • Sirs, I am quite sure that the King of England's forbears rightly and justly lost the conquered lands that I hold [...]
  • * [1936] 2004, Raymond William Firth, We the Tikopia []
  • One does not take one’s family name therefrom, and again the position of the mother in that group is determined through her father and his male forbears in turn; this too is a patrilineal group.
  • * 1997, H. L. Hix, Understanding W. S. Merwin []
  • Beginning with the bald declaration “I think I was cold in the womb,” the speaker in “The Forbears'” then decides that his brother (who died soon after birth) must also have been cold in the womb, like his grandfather John and the ' forbears who antedated John:
    English heteronyms