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Forgiveness is a quality whereby one ceases to feel resentment against another for a wrong he or she has committed against oneself, or, gives up any claim for a debt owed by another (i.e., one forgives another, or forgives a debt). It may be granted with or without the other asking for forgiveness.

It is recognized in Christianity as a spiritual gift. Spiritual forgiveness does not necessarily have any connection with material or financial forgiveness. One may spiritually forgive another, yet expect that the other should still make material or financial amends. God is understood to be infinitely forgiving (at the cost of His Son), and, indeed, the source of all forgiveness.

Forgiveness may be necessary for civilization, since, without it, all wrongs would demand revenge, which may themselves be taken as wrongs requiring revenge, resulting in a spiralling escalation of retaliation, leading ultimately to utter destruction.