for·​ay | \ ˈfȯr-ˌā How to pronounce foray (audio) , ˈfär- also fȯ-ˈrā or fə-ˈrā \
plural forays

Definition of foray

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a sudden or irregular invasion or attack for war or spoils : raid a foray into enemy territory attempted sneak and surprise forays— D. D. Eisenhower
2 : an initial and often tentative attempt to do something in a new or different field or area of activity the novelist's foray into nonfiction Torres spearheaded his family's first foray into international wine production by purchasing land in Chile's Curicó Valley in 1979.— Michael Schachner


forayed; foraying; forays

Definition of foray (Entry 2 of 2)

1 intransitive : to make a raid or brief invasion forayed into enemy territory Nicaraguan troops were foraying along the frontier …— George Russell
2 intransitive : to do or attempt something outside one's accustomed sphere : to enter into a new or different field or area of activity Tesla, known for its high-end electric cars, has forayed into the trucking industry with a Nov. 16 reveal of its latest prototype, the Tesla Semi.— Meagan Nichols
3 transitive, archaic : to ravage in search of spoils : pillage

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Other Words from foray


forayer noun, plural forayers

Did You Know?


Foray comes from Middle English forrayen and probably traces back to an Anglo-French word that meant "raider" or "forager." It's related to the word forage, which usually means "to wander in search of food or forage." A foray, in its earliest sense, was a raid for plunder. Relatively recently, foray began to take on a broader meaning. In a sense, a foray is still a trip into a foreign territory. These days, though, looting and plundering needn't be involved in a foray. When you take a foray, you dabble in an area, occupation, or pastime that's new to you.

Examples of foray in a Sentence

Noun a foray into enemy territory We made a quick foray into town for some supplies.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun More Microsoft announced its foray into quantum computing services aimed at software developers last November. Sara Castellanos, WSJ, "Microsoft’s Quantum-Computing Services Attract New Customers," 19 May 2020 Not long after her residency and starting the Sky Skins, Hurtado finally found her audience and began her foray into the art world. Elisa Wouk Almino, The New York Review of Books, "Luchita Hurtado’s Persistent Perspective," 16 May 2020 Her first foray in to online chats were related to work. The Washington Post, "On Parenting: Meghan Leahy takes your questions," 14 May 2020 But Obama’s purposeful retreat from public life (besides his occasional forays into influencer culture) has exposed how ill suited these Congressional leaders are for the role of spokesperson, national strategist, or mascot. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "Democrats Decide, Again, Not to Try Anything New," 10 Apr. 2020 Walking back into the diner, Camp felt like Michael Jordan returning to the Chicago Bulls in '95 after his foray into baseball. Author: Jenny Jarvie, Anchorage Daily News, "He survived COVID-19. He’s broke. But he thinks America is overreacting.," 30 Mar. 2020 There’s been an emerging trend among U.S. travelers to use the layover as an opportunity to pair an extended stay in Turkey with their Uzbek foray. Brandon Presser, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Visit Uzbekistan, A Country Undergoing a Tourism Renaissance," 24 Feb. 2020 She is currently supported by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a PAC that has backed her since her first foray into electoral politics in 2012. Sasha Pezenik, ABC News, "Pro-Warren super PAC launches ad campaign ahead of Nevada caucuses," 19 Feb. 2020 And his foray into writing saw Trombello rub shoulders with people who had their own captivating stories. Christopher Harress |, al, "This love story between a man and his cat began with a hiss and ended in Alabama," 14 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Detroit Red Wings forward Brendan Perlini joined his teammates for Friday’s practice at TD Garden, foraying onto the ice in a full face shield. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings' Brendan Perlini jokes after close call with skate: 'I'm breathing like a fish now'," 14 Feb. 2020 Separately, ride-hailing giant Ola has forayed into food-tech, payments, electric vehicles, and more. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "Investors in wannabe super apps must remember that India is not China," 25 Dec. 2019 The homegrown giant expanded its product portfolio to 150-plus categories in August this year, foraying into segments such as women’s and kids’ fashion, beauty, toys, sports, and stationery. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "Can Quikr and Olx hold up as e-commerce giants eye India’s burgeoning used-goods market?," 23 Oct. 2019 One of the most relevant OTT threats lies with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) foraying into the space. Wiza Jalakasi, Quartz Africa, "After years of rapid growth in Africa we’re about to enter the age of Mobile Money 2.0," 4 Oct. 2019 But what those who are still on the bandwagon have pointed out is that this is not the first time Styles has forayed into this very choppy hair territory. Nicola Dall'asen, Allure, "Harry Styles Fans Are Mourning the Loss of His Long, Curly Hair," 3 Sep. 2019 Though best known for his classical arrangements, Jones recently forayed into the world of electronic music on Hulu’s series Harlots, which follows the women of two feuding brothels in 18th century London. Morena Duwe, Billboard, "Rael Jones Delivers Electronic Music to the 18th Century With His Score for Hulu's 'Harlots': Interview," 26 Aug. 2019 Credited with ushering the coffee cafe culture in the country in the 1990s, Coffee Day also forayed into smaller towns that had limited options for eating out. Niha Masih, Washington Post, "The man who introduced coffee culture to India is found dead," 1 Aug. 2019 Beyoncé joins a crew of fellow superstars who have forayed into the world of sportswear. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Beyhive, Rejoice! Adidas and Beyoncé Are Teaming Up on a Cool New Label," 4 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'foray.' 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 foray


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for foray

Verb and Noun

Middle English forrayen, from Anglo-French forreyer, foreer, probably back-formation from *forrier, *forreour forager, raider, from fuerre, foer provender — more at forage

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Time Traveler for foray

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Foray.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for foray


How to pronounce foray (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of foray

: a sudden invasion or attack
: an attempt to do something especially for the first time
: a short journey

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More from Merriam-Webster on foray

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for foray

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with foray

Spanish Central: Translation of foray

Nglish: Translation of foray for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of foray for Arabic Speakers

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