de·​for·​est (ˌ)dē-ˈfȯr-əst How to pronounce deforest (audio)
deforested; deforesting; deforests

transitive verb

: to clear (an area) of forests : to remove trees from (an area)
As eroded hillsides become useless, the displaced farmers move still farther up the mountains, deforesting still more land.Jane Jacobs
Overgrazing has joined with the wide use of wood fuels to deforest large areas.Nathaniel Sheppard, Jr.

Examples of deforest in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web During his previous presidential term, between 2007 and 2010, the rate at which the Brazilian Amazon was being deforested plunged to record lows. Terrence McCoy, Washington Post, 16 July 2023 The jump is due to clearing of areas deforested in the second half of 2022, Jair Schmitt, head of environmental protection at Ibama, Brazil’s federal environmental agency, told The Associated Press. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 7 July 2023 The same amount of forested land would go for $3.80, but the buyers would have to deforest and occupy it themselves. Washington Post, 17 Mar. 2022 Saving the Amazon is also entwined with the rights of Indigenous people; a growing body of research suggests that lands stewarded by Indigenous people are deforested less. Emma Bryce, Scientific American, 20 Feb. 2023 Environmental enforcement typically weakens in election years and criminals may rush to deforest ahead of a new government taking office, according to Carlos Souza Jr, a researcher at Imazon, a Brazilian research institution. Rodrigo Pedroso and Jorge Engels, CNN, 4 July 2022 This produces an enormous cloud of data points, which can be fed into computer software that creates high resolution images in which scientists can digitally deforest the Amazon. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 May 2022 Current rules allow farmers to deforest as much as 20% of their properties in the biome. Tatiana Freitas,, 2 Oct. 2020 There will be no regional economic boom by rolling back the Roadless Rule—instead, taxpayers will be paying to deforest the Tongass. Bjorn Dihle, Outdoor Life, 28 Sep. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'deforest.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


de- + forest entry 1

First Known Use

1661, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of deforest was in 1661

Dictionary Entries Near deforest

Cite this Entry

“Deforest.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Biographical Definition

De Forest

biographical name

De For·​est di-ˈfȯr-əst How to pronounce De Forest (audio)
Lee 1873–1961 American inventor

More from Merriam-Webster on deforest

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