noun, often attributive \ˈfr-əst, ˈfär-\

: a thick growth of trees and bushes that covers a large area

Full Definition of FOREST

:  a dense growth of trees and underbrush covering a large tract
:  a tract of wooded land in England formerly owned by the sovereign and used for game
:  something resembling a forest especially in profusion or lushness <a forest of microphones> <a kelp forest>
for·est·al \-əs-təl\ or fo·res·tial \fə-ˈres-tē-əl, f-, -ˈres(h)-chəl\ adjective
for·est·ed \ˈfr-ə-stəd, ˈfär-\ adjective

Examples of FOREST

  1. Fires destroyed acres of forest.
  2. <the endless forest that the first European settlers encountered>

Origin of FOREST

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin forestis (silva) unenclosed (woodland), from Latin foris outside — more at forum
First Known Use: 13th century

Other Ecology Terms

Malthusian, anthropogenic, biomass, carbon footprint, crepuscular, niche, sere, symbiosis, taiga, tundra



Definition of FOREST

transitive verb
:  to cover with trees or forest <land densely forested with firs>
for·es·ta·tion \ˌfr-ə-ˈstā-shən, ˌfär-\ noun

First Known Use of FOREST

circa 1828

Other Ecology Terms

Malthusian, anthropogenic, biomass, carbon footprint, crepuscular, niche, sere, symbiosis, taiga, tundra


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Complex ecosystem in which trees are the dominant life-form. Tree-dominated forests can occur wherever the temperatures rise above 50 °F (10 °C) in the warmest months and the annual precipitation is more than 8 in. (200 mm). They can develop under various conditions within these limits, and the kind of soil, plant, and animal life differs according to the extremes of environmental influences. In cool, high-latitude subpolar regions, taiga (boreal) forests are dominated by hardy conifers. In more temperate high-latitude climates, mixed forests of both conifers and broad-leaved deciduous trees predominate. Broad-leaved deciduous forests develop in midlatitude climates. In humid equatorial climates, tropical rainforests develop. There heavy rainfall supports evergreens that have broad leaves instead of the needle leaves of cooler evergreen forests. Having extensive vertical layering, forests are among the most complex ecosystems. Conifer forests have the simplest structure: a tree layer, a shrub layer that is spotty or even absent, and a ground layer covered with lichens, mosses, and liverworts. Deciduous forests are more complex (the tree canopy is divided into an upper and lower story), and rainforest canopies are divided into at least three layers. Forest animals have highly developed hearing, and many are adapted for vertical movement through the environment. Because food other than ground plants is scarce, many ground-dwelling animals use forests only for shelter. The forest is nature's most efficient ecosystem, with a high rate of photosynthesis affecting both plant and animal systems in complex organic relationships.


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