Forthwith Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Forthwith, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Forthwith?

(adv) Forthwith is the situation or time frame within which an action, event etc are required to be done, as a consequence or relation of any other action or events necessitating the former. Eg. The holder of pledge need to return the property forthwith on the receipt of his money.

History and Meaning of Forthwith

Forthwith is an adverb used in legal and formal writing with the meaning of "immediately" or "without delay". The term is derived from Middle English and Old English words meaning "forward" and "away". In legal language, it is used to indicate the urgency of an action required by one party as a consequence or relation to something else, for example, a court ordering a defendant to appear in court forthwith.

Examples of Forthwith

  1. The tenant was ordered to vacate the premises forthwith after failing to pay rent for several months.
  2. The court directed the respondent to produce the requested documents forthwith, failing which they would be held in contempt.
  3. The police officer ordered the suspect to stop and put their hands up forthwith.
  4. Urgent repairs were required on the bridge and the authorities were instructed to commence work forthwith.
  5. The judge imposed a fine of $500 and instructed the defendant to pay it forthwith.

Legal Terms Similar to Forthwith

  1. Immediately - used interchangeably with forthwith in legal language.
  2. Without delay - synonymous with the meaning of forthwith.
  3. Promptly - used to indicate a required action should be done quickly and without delay.
  4. Right away - informal synonym for forthwith.
  5. Soon after - indicating an action should be taken promptly but not necessarily immediately.