for·​age | \ ˈfȯr-ij How to pronounce forage (audio) , ˈfär- \

Definition of forage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : food for animals especially when taken by browsing or grazing The grass serves as forage for livestock.
2 [forage entry 2] : the act of foraging : search for provisions They made forages to find food.


foraged; foraging

Definition of forage (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to strip of provisions : collect forage from
2 : to secure by foraging foraged a chicken for the feast

intransitive verb

1 : to wander in search of forage or food
2 : to secure forage (as for horses) by stripping the country
4 : to make a search : rummage

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Other Words from forage


forager noun

Synonyms for forage

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of forage in a Sentence

Noun The grass serves as forage for livestock. Verb The cows were foraging in the pasture. He had to forage for firewood.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Professor Sugiyama was right: There was less conflict as the monkeys spread out over a wide area to forage. Maciek Pożoga, Smithsonian Magazine, "What Japan’s Wild Snow Monkeys Can Teach Us About Animal Culture," 5 Jan. 2021 The birds dine exclusively on fish, usually shad and other small forage species. Matt Williams, Dallas News, "Uncommon scents: Anglers find smelly bait is a necessary evil to attract big catfish," 21 Nov. 2020 The males, left to forage, fed their families through a slit in the clay barrier. Yao-hua Law, The Atlantic, "Helmeted Hornbills Are Very Picky About Their Nests," 16 Dec. 2020 Reducing pressure on forage fish will strengthen global marine fisheries. Pallab Sarker, The Conversation, "Taking fish out of fish feed can make aquaculture a more sustainable food source," 14 Dec. 2020 This is the first research that has reported that these Eastern honeybee workers forage and use animal feces to defend themselves, and the team stated there's no evidence the bees use the poop for much else. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "Honeybees use poop to ward off those terrifying murder hornets," 9 Dec. 2020 Forest health experts help identify areas where Christmas trees can be cut, opening up forage for wildlife and allowing the remaining trees to grow larger. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "You can cut down your Christmas Tree from a National Forest. Here's how.," 2 Dec. 2020 Some non-native fish eaters such as salmon were deliberately introduced to eat non-native forage fish. Jason Treat, Magazine, "The disrupted food web," 17 Nov. 2020 This could well make these researchers the stewards of humanity’s future food supply, ensuring the resiliency of dietary staples like barley, wheat, and chickpeas, as well as forage crops like clover and alfalfa that are eaten by livestock. Matt Simon, Wired, "These Rare Seeds Escaped Syria's War—to Help Feed the World," 17 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb After that first month, the kids join their mama to forage for food. René A. Guzman,, "White-tailed deer: These icons of Texas roam most of the U.S.," 12 Jan. 2021 New research published in November in the journal Royal Society Open Science presents evidence that otters learn how to forage by watching other otters, Ailsa Chang reports for NPR. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Otters Solve Puzzles Faster After Seeing a Friend Do It First," 3 Dec. 2020 Predators often avoid the stinky, pretend carcasses, Collins said, allowing the possum to go forth and forage another day. Doug Maccash | Staff Writer,, "Close possum encounters: Freeloading, chicken thievery, playing dead until dead," 23 Dec. 2020 The fires also destroyed vegetation where bees forage for nectar and pollen. Nora Mishanec,, "Wildfires deal another blow to Northern California’s fragile bee populations," 28 Nov. 2020 Instead, head outside to forage for leaves and branches. Lia Picard, House Beautiful, "The Beginner's Guide to Creating a Picture-Perfect Tablescape," 30 Oct. 2020 They’ve been observed to forage more widely, extend trading networks and invest more time and energy in their tools and technology. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, "To Adapt to a Changing Environment 400,000 Years Ago, Early Humans Developed New Tools and Behaviors," 21 Oct. 2020 This remains a fine time to forage for apples and pumpkins. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Pharmalittle: Study finds remdesivir fails to prevent Covid-19 deaths; Trump’s $200 discount drug cards hit snags," 16 Oct. 2020 Let the coyotes forage for natural food away from your home and pets. Ernie Cowan, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column evolves into an Ann Landers-of-sorts on the subject of nature," 17 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'forage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of forage


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for forage

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from fuerre, foer fodder, straw, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German fuotar food, fodder — more at food

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Time Traveler for forage

Time Traveler

The first known use of forage was in the 14th century

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Statistics for forage

Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Forage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for forage


How to pronounce forage (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of forage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: grasses and other plants that are eaten by animals (such as cows)



English Language Learners Definition of forage (Entry 2 of 2)

of an animal : to eat growing grass or other plants
: to search for something (such as food or supplies)


for·​age | \ ˈfȯr-ij How to pronounce forage (audio) \

Kids Definition of forage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: food (as grass) for browsing or grazing animals


foraged; foraging

Kids Definition of forage (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to nibble or eat grass or other plants Cows foraged in the field.
2 : search entry 1 sense 1 We foraged for firewood.

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for forage

Nglish: Translation of forage for Spanish Speakers

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