Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday's Word

Forfend / for-FEND / transitive verb
also forefend
1. a. (Archaic) To prohibit; to forbid.
b. To ward off; to prevent; to avert.
2. To defend; to protect; to preserve.

The Tory leader sort of wanted to say that the government should deploy the army more rapidly, but -- heaven forfend -- he didn't want to imply that it was anybody's fault that the soldiers hadn't been deployed!
-- Simon Hoggart, "A greasy whiff dispels the stench of worthiness", Guardian, March 22, 2001

If one of us is missing, heaven forfend, then the king's forces are diminished.
-- Leon Wieseltier, Kaddish

The river of discovery will continue to flow without cessation, deepening our understanding of the world and enhancing our capacity to forfend calamity and live congenial lives.
-- John Maddox, What Remains To Be Discovered

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