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 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 So operators demand for forages like corn silage is very inflexible. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: Oil prices, war, and a bad corn crop," 23 June 2019 The juveniles come out many times daily to forage and play. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Uh oh. Ground squirrels have moved into a Fremont yard," 28 Aug. 2019 Her two-bedroom house on the Navajo reservation in a remote part of Arizona is at the base of a mountain, where children, aunts, uncles and grandparents hike and forage for plants. Jan Hoffman, New York Times, "Who Can Adopt a Native American Child? A Texas Couple vs. 573 Tribes," 5 June 2019 Those fawning peaks are evolutionary adaptations designed to have the young deer arrive when habitat conditions — forage and cover — are at their best, helping increase survival. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Texas summer a key factor in wildlife cycle," 17 May 2018 There is no charge to book a seat at one of the 12-person picnic tables or to forage, but participants can choose additional amenities for an extra fee. Andrea Sachs,, "Forest to table: An invitation to a DIY dining adventure in Sweden," 12 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The hotel can arrange a tour of the farm, which specializes in cut and edible flowers, foraged ocean greens, and small-batch sea salt—a small sachet is the ideal souvenir to bring back home. Jen Murphy, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Long Weekend on Whidbey Island, the Playground of the Pacific Northwest," 10 July 2019 Over the past few weeks, Buzz the mangabey has stayed close to mom, leaving her to learn how to forage and nurse at the same time. Kelli Bender,, "Baby Mangabey, One of World's Rarest Primates, Named After Buzz Aldrin in Honor of Moon Landing," 29 Aug. 2019 First the rats foraged on a board without any rewards; then they were trained to find three rewards in specific locations; finally, they were sent off again on a board with no rewards. Quanta Magazine, "Goals and Rewards Redraw the Brain’s Map of the World," 28 Mar. 2019 Biologists have noticed a distinct diet shift, with perch foraging on invertebrates such as spiny water fleas and midge and mayfly larvae instead of emerald shiner minnows and other small fish. D'arcy Egan,, "Lake Erie walleye fishing ‘Golden Era’ officially returns with record catches, big hatches," 13 Sep. 2019 So unless Neanderthals were simply a lot more prone to falling into the water, foraging habits alone aren't enough to account for the huge difference in swimmer's ear. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Neanderthals suffered from a veritable epidemic of swimmer’s ear," 19 Aug. 2019 Our group piled into the back of an ATV piloted by Pontus Sjoholm, the hotel’s chef and our foraging maestro. Andrea Sachs,, "Forest to table: An invitation to a DIY dining adventure in Sweden," 12 Aug. 2019 Our group piled into the back of an ATV piloted by Pontus Sjoholm, the hotel’s chef and our foraging maestro. Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, "In Sweden, a DIY dining adventure," 26 July 2019 The trout and chubs will forage and lounge in a sanctuary of potable and treated water contoured with pools, riffles and waterfalls designed by biologists at Stillwater Sciences, a consulting firm. Los Angeles Times, "South Gate charts new course to rear native fish that thrived before L.A.’s explosive growth," 17 Sep. 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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Statistics for forage

Last Updated

5 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for forage

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

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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

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