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
3 : ravage, raid
4 : to make a search : rummage

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Animal advocates say removing the animals from the open range is driven by pressure from ranchers who don't want the free-roaming horses competing with their livestock for forage. Scott Sonner, Star Tribune, 27 July 2021 Hot, dry summers may reduce the forage elk need to survive, for example, while waters become too warm for trout. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Apr. 2022 Animals allowed to graze freely over an entire pasture will often repeatedly graze the most palatable plants, while ignoring other nutritious but less palatable forage. Arkansas Online, 6 July 2021 The belief is the quaggas are providing an abundant, high protein food source to compliment other forage like redswamp crawfish and grass shrimp. Matt Williams, Dallas News, 22 May 2021 The cubs were exposed to weather and had more opportunities to climb, play and forage for their food. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Apr. 2022 They also got acclimated to the weather and had more opportunities to run, climb, play and forage for their food. Kelli Bender,, 15 Apr. 2022 Hagen finishes up by re-seeding the area with clover and forage. Michael Alberty | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 14 Mar. 2022 In the season finale, the remaining recruits forage for produce at a rooftop farm and create unique dishes with farm-fresh ingredients. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, 23 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And subscription snack boxes keep my munchies at bay without my having to forage for the most obscene flavor of Combos at my local bodega or raid the BA test kitchen for pecan nubs left over from muffin recipe testing. Bon Appétit, 19 Apr. 2022 Now residents can instead use an app to forage for food on non-interstate roads. Kate Gibson, CBS News, 14 Mar. 2022 Learn about sustainable and respectful harvesting and how to forage edible seaweed. Mimi Slawoff, Travel + Leisure, 30 Jan. 2022 Within two years, almost all of the other Athletics stars were gone – forcing the Finleys to forage for such new talent as Rickey Henderson. Dan Schlossberg, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 Growing food is an enviable skill, but why not cut out the middleman and learn how to forage for food that’s just out there waiting to be eaten? Outside Online, 11 June 2020 Andrew McCloud said the ultimate prize is having a plate and being able to share with neighbors and family members who can’t get out and forage themselves. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 19 Apr. 2022 Demers suggested that people who want to forage download an app that identifies plants, such as PictureThis, Forage or Shroomify. Susan Dunne,, 28 June 2021 Or forage for them — as the recipe developer Zoe Yang has done, using periwinkles (small marine snails) in place of the trapdoor snails gathered from rice fields in Nanjing. New York Times, 23 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near forage

for a dare


forage acre

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Statistics for forage

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Forage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for forage


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on forage

Nglish: Translation of forage for Spanish Speakers


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