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 Then the pack refroze, forming a crust that blocked reindeer’s access to forage. Juliana Hanle, Scientific American, "The Fight for the Reindeer," 18 Nov. 2019 The few other bones in the cave came from various bovid species, a fox, and even some baboons (which forage in the high grasslands of the Ethiopian plateau and sleep on cliffside ledges). Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "The first people to live at high elevations snacked on giant mole rats," 9 Aug. 2019 As for those upset about the horses, the flip side — praise from your neighbors for providing adequate forage — is never forthcoming. New York Times, "News of an ‘Outrage’ Used to Mean Something Very, Very Different," 23 May 2018 While chimney swifts typically fly higher, rainy weather can cause them to forage lower to the ground. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "Hundreds of birds killed and injured after crashing into NASCAR Hall of Fame building," 16 Oct. 2019 The same wet spring helping grow forage for deer and elk followed heavy snow well into March and extended heavy rains across much of Eastern Oregon, making difficult nesting conditions for upland birds. oregonlive, "Oregon hunting preview 2019: Outlooks for deer, elk, bear, cougar, upland birds, waterfowl," 20 Sep. 2019 In Mbar Toubab, the fees collected from last year’s forage bank paid for solar panels to power classrooms. Aryn Baker / Mbar Toubab, Time, "Can a 4,815-Mile Wall of Trees Help Curb Climate Change in Africa?," 12 Sep. 2019 Bruce Babbitt declared a state of emergency near Prescott in Yavapai County, and state officials responded by spraying large swaths of range land in seven Arizona counties with malathion to protect cattle forage. John D'anna, azcentral, "Massive waves of grasshoppers are swarming Las Vegas. Could Arizona be their next target?," 30 July 2019 Yellowjackets deliver the insects and food they forage to the young in their nests, while nourishing themselves on nectar from flowers. Washington Post, "Benevolent or fearsome? Yellowjackets can be both," 23 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For three years in the 1860s, Agostini lived high up on the mountain, foraging for food and getting water from a spring. Smithsonian, "The Inspiring Monk Who Lived in a New Mexico Cave," 22 Nov. 2019 For six seatings a week, their tasting menu distills regional seasonality into nine (or sometimes, as in our case, 10) dishes, deploying food grown on-site, foraged from the surrounding forests, and sourced from the Maritime coasts. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appétit, "The Restaurant at Pearl Morissette Offers a Tasting Menu for the Climate-Conscious Era," 7 Nov. 2019 With ample rain and wind in the forecast, foraging for candy is looking like a nightmare on everyone's street. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Here are 28 indoor trick or treating sites to save your Halloween," 29 Oct. 2019 The Great Bay Estuary is about 60 feet deep in the middle, though the crabs tend to hang out around the edges, foraging for food. Caren Chesler, Popular Mechanics, "The Blood of the Crab," 23 Aug. 2019 Pacific Northwesterners who forage for wild mushrooms are noticing that the late summer and fall delicacies are coming in early this year., "Fall mushroom season starts early after mild summer," 11 Aug. 2019 The old man’s beard that Ramsay foraged from the top of Chimney Rock has already been made into tea, but the spruce tips—which are packed with vitamin C and contain carotenoids, potassium, and magnesium—are used in everything from salads to stews. Jill K. Robinson, National Geographic, "Gordon Ramsay Braves the Icy Alaska Panhandle," 17 July 2019 This leaves us to focus on the task at hand, which is to forage for interesting items and the like. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Pharmalittle: Biotechs worry about Democrats’ drug pricing bill; PhRMA criticizes four countries over policies," 12 Nov. 2019 The other two foraged farther into the depths of the dungeons with their swords drawn, torches held high. David Canfield,, "Read an excerpt from Blood Heir, the year's most controversial YA novel," 17 Oct. 2019

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

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Forage.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on forage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for forage

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with forage

Spanish Central: Translation of forage

Nglish: Translation of forage for Spanish Speakers

Comments on forage

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delight or enjoyment

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