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A phrase invoking God's protection to keep something from happening. Sometimes used sarcastically or hyperbolically. God forbid I get another ticket on my parents' car. I'll be grounded for a month! God forbid that an R-rated film should have anything offensive in it!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
God forbid!and Heaven forbid!
a phrase expressing the desire that God would forbid the situation that the speaker has just mentioned from ever happening. Tom: It looks like taxes are going up again. Bob: God forbid! Bob: Bill was in a car wreck. I hope he wasn't hurt! Sue: God forbid!
See also: god
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Also, heaven forbid. May God prevent something from happening or being the case. For example, God forbid that they actually encounter a bear, or Heaven forbid that the tornado pulls off the roof. This term, in which heaven also stands for "God," does not necessarily imply a belief in God's direct intervention but merely expresses a strong wish. [c. 1225] For a synonym, see perish the thought.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
God/Heaven forˈbid (that...)(also humorous or old use, less frequent Heaven forˈfend (that...)) (spoken) used to say that you hope that something will not happen: ‘Maybe you’ll end up as a lawyer, like me.’ ‘Heaven forbid!’(Some people find this use offensive.)
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
Let it not happen, or let it not be true. This invocation of the almighty is very old indeed—it dates from the thirteenth century—but, belief in God and heaven no longer being universal, it is no longer used literally. Thus, in such uses as “God forbid that their plane crashes” or “‘Is Dad going hunting next weekend?’ ‘Heaven forbid, Mom’s baby is due then,’” no one is calling for a deity’s intervention. Also see perish the thought.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer