heaven forbid

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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. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, 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 ?
Heaven Forbid is a Cheveley Park homebred filly out of a half-sister to their smart racemare Heaven Sent.
For those who still think of chocolate as a treat, luxury or, heaven forbid, junk food, consider a recent study published in the April 2008 Journal of Nutrition: "Results indicate that regular consumption of chocolate bars containing plant sterols and cocoa flavanols and as part of a low-fat diet may support cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol and improving blood pressure." If that isn't incentive enough, there's the new Signature Series from Newman's Own Organics.
There is no telling whether the 2009-2010 snow season will be as bad or - heaven forbid - worse than 2008-2009.
But don't expect to see a crackdown on drug dealers, increased jail terms for violent thugs or, heaven forbid, more bobbies on the beat.
Heaven forbid that Wigan, as one of the league's 'glamour' clubs, were given preferential treatment.
Like other speakers, Brownback decried excessive government spending, but didn't utter the words "Iraq," "earmark," "lobbyist" "cronyism," "corruption," or, heaven forbid, "Delay" "Abramoff," "Ney" "Burns" or "Halliburton" Nor did any of them take responsibility for said spending, despite the fact that they legislated it.
If the Government wants to do something really useful, why not ban these devices from being taken on holiday and force people to look instead at the sea, sky, landscape and even - heaven forbid - talk to their families.
Worse, if they dare to question the fairness of this or, heaven forbid, ask for a rebate of their public school taxes for the years their children attend private school, they are called mean-spirited, greedy, and selfish by public school parents who drive Hummers and live in million-dollar homes.
Or, Heaven forbid, if it happens against England any time in the next four weeks.
(Hence the official inspection: heaven forbid that the feds hand out a whopping $500 without following the proper channels--it wouldn't want to get mired in HotAirScam.) The inspector soon noticed school-age children about the premises, and enquired after their education (perhaps he's also concerned about social-climate change).
"Heaven forbid that the point of my whole life is for everyone to like me."
In this case, however," the rabbis wrote, "where the chance exists that the [enemy] will abuse the dead and will vandalize their graves, in the event that the plan is implemented and the graves are left alone, Heaven forbid - it is clear and simple that it would be a matter of respect for the dead to take them to another place where they may rest in peace, and will not be given to abuse, Heaven forbid."
As an increasing number of Guard and Reserve units are sent to Iraq, state governments are left with critical shortfalls to deal with natural disasters--such as the recent bout of hurricanes--or, heaven forbid, future terrorist attacks on our soil.
A weekend's golf - or, heaven forbid, a carefully wrought assignation - goes down the tube with a request you be in Munich on Sunday.