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

Synonyms for foray

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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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 The case marks the court's first foray into gun rights since Justice Amy Coney Barrett came on board in October, making a 6-3 conservative majority. Matt Delong, Star Tribune, "TALKERS042621," 26 Apr. 2021 This pass/fail duality also underlies TrainerRoad’s nascent foray into machine learning. David Shultz, Outside Online, "Is This App the Future of AI Workouts?," 13 Apr. 2021 Not since Napoleon’s foray into Italy had so much European art been stolen to order. The Economist, "The tragedy of Jewish art collectors in pre-war Paris," 10 Apr. 2021 Upon returning from service and changing their name to the Night Shift, the members of War got a gig backing NFL football player Deacon Jones’ between-season foray into soul music. Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times, "B.B. Dickerson, bassist and co-founder of Southern California band War, dies at 71," 6 Apr. 2021 The NCAA Tournament has been dominated by the East, mixed with the occasional championship foray by a school from the Midwest. John Marshall, ajc, "West has been the best in this year's NCAA Tournament," 4 Apr. 2021 The new launch, out Friday, marks Fenty's first foray into lightweight foundation. Megan Decker,, "Fenty Beauty’s New Foundation Is Dewy Summer Skin In A Bottle," 24 Mar. 2021 Easter Sunday will be the church’s first foray to in-person worship since the pandemic closing started. Steve Smith,, "Buckingham Church welcomes new minister," 19 Mar. 2021 This isn’t Martin’s first foray into the realm of the divine feminine—far from it. Grace Stearns, Vogue, "The La DoubleJ x Ladurée Collection Is Mother’s Day Gifting Made Easy," 16 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Hallmark has five other lines of cards aimed at specific communities, but the Uplifted & Empowered collection is the first to foray into the issue of race. Carly Ryan, CNN, "A group of Black female writers created a Hallmark card collection to inspire racial resilience," 10 Apr. 2021 In fact, James’ foray into traditional politics in 2020 was to combat voter suppression in Black communities and help turn empty arenas into polling places. Deantae Prince,, "Column: LeBron James’ voice is more important than ever. Zlatan Ibrahimovic could stand to learn a lot from outspoken athletes like him.," 4 Mar. 2021 Just as the brand was an early adopter of the American mezcal craze, Zapata and Cisneros’ foray into the cristalino realm signals a big future for the category. Kate Dingwall, Forbes, "Mezcal El Silencio Founders Launch Their First Product In Eight Years: A Cristalino Tequila," 1 Mar. 2021 But now Weinberg claims Shimon is the first improvising robot to foray into rap, with its distinct stylistic features that pose unique programming challenges. Shi En Kim, Scientific American, "This Robot Can Rap—Really," 4 Dec. 2020 The Ridgeline is Honda’s first and only foray into trucks, and the vehicle has had a bumpy reception since its debut 15 years ago. Chester Dawson,, "Honda Beefs Up Pickup, SUVs to Bolster Light-Truck Market Share," 9 Oct. 2020 The recent outbreak has magnified the need for businesses to foray onto the online platforms. Wilfred Sigler, Quartz India, "The pandemic has made investments in cybersecurity even more essential," 24 Sep. 2020 Harris’ first solo foray out on the campaign trail for in-person events since she was announced as Biden’s running mate nearly a month ago. Arkansas Online, "Harris meets Blake family to kick off Wisconsin visit," 7 Sep. 2020 Harris’ first solo foray out on the campaign trail for in-person events since she was announced as Biden’s running mate nearly a month ago. Alexandra Jaffe And Kathleen Ronayne,, "Labor Day brings Kamala Harris and Mike Pence to Wisconsin and Joe Biden to Pennsylvania as 2020 presidential race enters final phase," 7 Sep. 2020

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

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Foray.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for foray



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

Nglish: Translation of foray for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of foray for Arabic Speakers

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