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


a foray into enemy territory We made a quick foray into town for some supplies.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

What's in a name This isn't Rice's first foray in the world of bar and eateries. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Boomerangs Bar & Grill, a new sports bar, opens in downtown Waukesha," 3 Sep. 2019 He’s done media work, speaking engagements, and written a book since his retirement, but this would be his first foray into coaching. Nora Princiotti,, "Troy Brown continues to help coach Patriots receivers," 3 Sep. 2019 This isn't ThredUp's first foray into brick-and-mortar retail. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "J.C. Penney's rebuilding strategy? Sell secondhand clothing," 15 Aug. 2019 This will hardly be Clinton's first foray into authorship. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Here's What Hillary Clinton Is Doing Now," 7 Aug. 2019 The new line is Starbucks’ first foray into the refrigerated creamer category. Hannah Chubb,, "Starbucks Is Changing the At-Home Coffee Game with 3 Creamers Inspired by Their Popular Drinks," 22 July 2019 The Sands of Time), Far From Home is his first foray into cape-and-tights superheroism. Devan Coggan,, "Home Boys: How Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal forged their Spider-Man friendship," 1 July 2019 O’Neill hails from Ireland, but this is his first professional foray on American soil. Amy Drew Thompson,, "Disney Springs’ Raglan Road: New chef, new era, new flavors," 21 June 2019 Photo: Tyson Foods This is the first foray into meat alternatives for Tyson, which produces 1 out of every 5 pounds of beef, chicken and pork processed in the U.S. each year. Jacob Bunge, WSJ, "Tyson’s New Nuggets Swap In Peas for Chicken, as Meatless Frenzy Grows," 13 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 And now, the mom of five is foraying into children's literature! Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Joanna Gaines Is Releasing Her First Children's Book—And Her Kids Helped Her Write It!," 14 Jan. 2019 To camp solo is to foray into wilderness that’s made wilder by the fact that one is alone in it. Cheryl Strayed, Vogue, "Is Glamping Camping? Wild’s Cheryl Strayed Tackles the Question—in Style," 17 July 2018 The American Cancer Society partnership isn’t Lyft’s only foray into medical transportation. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Lyft Is Offering Free Rides to Cancer Patients in Major U.S. Cities," 21 June 2018 There are plenty of his signature otaku flowers, but also forays into art history, including homages to the British master of angst Francis Bacon and the Edo-period Japanese painter Soga Shohaku. The New Yorker, "Takashi Murakami, Japan’s Answer to Andy Warhol," 18 May 2018

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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Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for foray

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

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with foray

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for foray

Spanish Central: Translation of foray

Nglish: Translation of foray for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of foray for Arabic Speakers

Comments on foray

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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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