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God forbid

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!
See also: forbid, god

heaven forbid

A phrase used to invoke (at least figuratively) a higher power to prevent something that one believes would be tragic if it were to happen. Often used sarcastically. If, heaven forbid, something were to happen to you, you would want to know that your family would be taken care of. Well, heaven forbid people in power actually listen to their constituents! Heaven forbid that poor family has to endure another tragedy.
See also: forbid, heaven
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.

God forbid

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.
See also: forbid, god
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.)
See also: forbid, god, heaven
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

God/heaven forbid

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.
See also: forbid, god, heaven
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Lemma 3.3 If G is a convex geometric graph, then forbidding the convex hull edges incident to any three vertices [p.sub.1], [p.sub.2] and [p.sub.3] of G, forbids the embedding of [T.sub.n].
So, you should hasten to enjoin good and forbid evil during this blessed month, with wisdom and good preaching.
The order forbids the youngster from: causing harassment, alarm or distress to anyone in England and Wales; damaging property not owned by him; setting fire to property or possessing any match, flint or lighter.
This is a sensible rule, but it has been extended improperly by another rule: imputed disqualification, which forbids one firm from representing two clients with adverse unrelated interests even if the work is performed by two different attorneys.
A state court ruled that its organizers, the South Boston Allied Veterans Council, could not bar a gay/lesbian group from participating because Massachusetts law forbids even private discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The act, first passed in 1973, forbids anyone from taking an endangered or threatened species.
Since current law (PL 100-647, section 6231, 11/10/88) forbids the use of collections performance or monetary quotas in evaluating IRS personnel, congressional action will be required to change the status quo.
In that event, they intend to mount a legal challenge to the current law which forbids same-sex 'marriage' in Portugal.
A new law is passed in Parliament that forbids the Quakers from meeting at all, and when they continue to meet for worship, they are arrested and imprisoned.
The practice, the judges said, violates the provision of the First Amendment that forbids government promotion of religion.
And, clearly, any law which forbids "interference" with a parent's complete control of a child's medical care and "religious instruction" will preclude any intervention when parents choose to withhold appropriate medical treatment or to apply "treatment methods" which themselves cause injury or death.
Repeal the federal law that forbids phone companies from providing video services.
If passed, it would repeal the exemption to the Toxic Substances Control Act that forbids EPA from issuing any regulations involving tobacco.
Catholic Church teaching forbids heterologous IVF because it is contrary to the unity of marriage, to the dignity of the spouses, to the vocation of the parents, and to the child's right to be conceived and brought into the world in marriage and from marriage.