Etymology
Advertisement
forgive (v.)
Old English forgiefan "give, grant, allow; remit (a debt), pardon (an offense)," also "give up" and "give in marriage" (past tense forgeaf, past participle forgifen); from for-, here probably "completely," + giefan "to give" (from PIE root *ghabh- "to give or receive").

The sense of "to give up desire or power to punish" (late Old English) is from use of such a compound as a Germanic loan-translation of Vulgar Latin *perdonare (Old Saxon fargeban, Dutch vergeven, German vergeben "to forgive," Gothic fragiban "to grant;" and see pardon (n.)). Related: Forgave; forgiven; forgiving.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
forgivable (adj.)
1540s, from forgive + -able. Related: Forgivably.
Related entries & more 
forgiving (adj.)
"inclined to forgive," 1680s, from present participle of forgive. Related: Forgivingness.
Related entries & more 
unforgiving (adj.)
1713, from un- (1) "not" + present-participle adjective from forgive. Old English had unforgifende.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
unforgiven (adj.)
early 15c., from un- (1) "not" + past-participle adjective from forgive (v.). Old English had unforgifen.
Related entries & more 
forgiveness (n.)

Old English forgiefnes, forgifennys "pardon, forgiveness, indulgence," from past participle of forgifan (see forgive) + -ness. Contracted from *forgiven-ness. Middle English had also forgift (early 14c.).

Related entries & more 
*ghabh- 
also *ghebh-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to give or receive." The basic sense of the root probably is "to hold," which can be either in offering or in taking.

It forms all or part of: able; avoirdupois; binnacle; cohabit; cohabitation; debenture; debit; debt; dishabille; due; duty; endeavor; exhibit; exhibition; forgive; gavel; gift; give; habeas corpus; habiliment; habit; habitable; habitant; habitat; habitation; habitual; habituate; habituation; habitude; habitue; inhabit; inhibit; inhibition; malady; prebend; prohibit; prohibition; provender.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit gabhasti- "hand, forearm;" Latin habere "to have, hold, possess," habitus "condition, demeanor, appearance, dress;" Old Irish gaibim "I take, hold, I have," gabal "act of taking;" Lithuanian gabana "armful," gabenti "to remove;" Gothic gabei "riches;" Old English giefan, Old Norse gefa "to give."
Related entries & more 
baksheesh (n.)
1620s (variously spelled), in India, Egypt, etc., "a gratuity, present in money," from Persian bakhshish, literally "gift," from verb bakhshidan "to give" (also "to forgive"), from PIE root *bhag- "to share out, apportion; to get a share."
Related entries & more 
pardon (n.)

c. 1300, pardoun, "papal indulgence, forgiveness of sins or wrongdoing," from Old French pardon, from pardoner "to grant; forgive" (11c., Modern French pardonner), "to grant, forgive," and directly from Medieval Latin perdonum, from Vulgar Latin *perdonare "to give wholeheartedly, to remit," from Latin per "through, thoroughly" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "through") + donare "give as a gift," from donum "gift," from PIE *donum "gift," from root *do- "to give."

Meaning "a passing over of an offense without punishment" is from c. 1300, also in the strictly ecclesiastical sense; the sense of "pardon for a civil or criminal offense; release from penalty or obligation" is from late 14c., earlier in Anglo-French. Weaker sense of "excuse for a minor fault" is attested from 1540s. To beg (one's) pardon "ask forgiveness" is by 1640s.

Strictly, pardon expresses the act of an official or a superior, remitting all or the remainder of the punishment that belongs to an offense: as, the queen or the governor pardons a convict before the expiration of his sentence. Forgive refers especially to the feelings; it means that one not only resolves to overlook the offense and reestablishes amicable relations with the offender, but gives up all ill feeling against him. [Century Dictionary]
Related entries & more