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

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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 Coastwide, most of the deaths consisted of baitfish, including mullet, menhaden, spot, silver perch (yellowtail) and other forage species. Matt Watt, San Antonio Express-News, "Freeze hurts fisheries but not to dire degree," 4 Mar. 2021 Officials with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission say forage species such as shad likely will die in lakes due to the excessive cold. Alan Clemons, Outdoor Life, "Massive Fish and Wildlife Kills in the Wake of Southern Ice Storm," 25 Feb. 2021 High densities of honey bee colonies increase competition between native pollinators for forage, putting even more pressure on the wild species that are already in decline. Alison Mcafee, Scientific American, "The Problem with Honey Bees," 4 Nov. 2020 On-site, guests can learn to pickle, preserve and forage then enjoy three-course dinners by culinary director Alan Hsu. WSJ, "A Sporty Louis Vuitton Watch, and the Other Design Finds of Spring," 22 Apr. 2021 For decades, First Nations people in British Columbia knew their ancestral homes—villages forcibly emptied in the late 1800s—were great places to forage for traditional foods like hazelnuts, crabapples, cranberries, and hawthorn. Andrew Curry, Science | AAAS, "Pacific Northwest’s ‘forest gardens’ were deliberately planted by Indigenous people," 22 Apr. 2021 In such a dry environment, animals need more space to roam to find seasonal water sources and forage, Traphagen said, especially during an extremely hot and dry year like 2020. azcentral, "Trump's border wall scarred sacred lands, displaced wildlife and drained water. Can it be taken down?," 15 Apr. 2021 How this restaurant's racist banner spurred a 'call to arms' Her Diné grandmother taught her to forage. Tirion Morris, The Arizona Republic, "COVID-19 precautions at Arizona restaurants vary. Here are 5 tips for picking where to eat," 2 Apr. 2021 For the most part, circling was recorded in places where the animals forage for food. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Scientists Are Determined to Figure Out Why Sharks, Turtles, Whales, and Seals Keep Swimming in Circles," 26 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Many blamed the population drop, from 747 to 587 last year, on the park refusing to give the animals more room to live and forage. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, "Point Reyes plan for cattle ranches, elk herds faces impassioned opposition ahead of key vote," 21 Apr. 2021 This young oystercatcher is old enough to forage but still relies on its parents for food because its beak hasn't developed the strength to open the shells of mollusks and crustaceans. Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, "Amazing Birds In Photos: 21 Finalists For Bird Photographer Of The Year," 4 Apr. 2021 But when the pandemic hit, the approximately 1,200 deer suddenly had to forage for their food in the small park, which is only about 2.5 square miles in size. Ula Chrobak, Popular Science, "How the pandemic has helped and hurt animals around the world," 4 Mar. 2021 Every morning, Yoshihiro visits the farms in Ohara—a small village northeast of Kyoto—to forage for herbs and flowers that will influence his omakase-style menu (dishes selected by the chef) that evening. Angelina Villa-clarke, Forbes, "Gut Instincts: Phaidon’s New Food Books Take You To The Very Heart Of A Country," 18 Mar. 2021 Jaber Hmeidat says his sons, ages 9 and 12, left their home in the hills south of Hebron earlier this week to forage for akoub, a wild artichoke-like vegetable that is currently in season. Saphora Smith, NBC News, "Video shows Israeli forces detain Palestinian boys. They say they went foraging for vegetables.," 12 Mar. 2021 It has also been suggested that self-control is helpful for building tools because an animal needs to resist the urge to immediately forage or hunt while creating the tool. Sara Tabin, Forbes, "Cuttlefish Can Pass The Famed ‘Marshmallow Test,’ Study Finds," 9 Mar. 2021 In the summer, when the whales forage in the inland waters of the Salish Sea, their diet is almost entirely Chinook — mostly those that return to spawn in Canada's Fraser River, the paper said. Gene Johnson, Star Tribune, "Study: Chinook salmon are key to Northwest orcas all year," 3 Mar. 2021 Jeju is a Korean island famous for its haenyeo, its diving mermaids who forage for food. Susan Larson,, "Diving deep and surfacing: Former Times-Picayune restaurant critic writes her first novel," 21 Dec. 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

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Forage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for forage



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on forage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for forage

Nglish: Translation of forage for Spanish Speakers

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