noun, often attributive
for·​est | \ ˈfȯr-əst How to pronounce forest (audio) , ˈfär- \

Definition of forest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a dense growth of trees and underbrush covering a large tract A fire destroyed acres of forest. forests of pine and mahogany
2 : a tract of wooded land in England formerly owned by the sovereign and used for game
3 : something resembling a forest especially in profusion or lushness a forest of microphones a kelp forest a forest of skyscrapers


forested; foresting; forests

Definition of forest (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cover with trees or forest land densely forested with firs

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from forest


forestal \ ˈfȯr-​ə-​stᵊl How to pronounce forest (audio) , ˈfär-​ \ or forestial \ fə-​ˈre-​stē-​əl How to pronounce forest (audio) , fȯ-​ , -​ˈres-​chəl , -​ˈresh-​ \ adjective
forested \ ˈfȯr-​ə-​stəd How to pronounce forest (audio) , ˈfär-​ \ adjective


forestation \ ˌfȯr-​ə-​ˈstā-​shən How to pronounce forest (audio) , ˌfär-​ \ noun

Examples of forest in a Sentence

Noun Fires destroyed acres of forest. the endless forest that the first European settlers encountered
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Q-Web is a forest of signs, connecting the legendary lands of Atlantis and Mu with time travel, the Borgias, Aleister Crowley, and COINTELPRO. Hari Kunzru, Harpers Magazine, "Complexity," 5 Jan. 2021 When the tire gave out, Smith said, Woolen crashed near the church and fled on foot into a nearby forest. NBC News, "Pastor killed, two other people injured in Texas church shooting," 4 Jan. 2021 On April 26, 2017, in the middle of a military training exercise in a Bavarian forest, Franco A. was arrested again. New York Times, "A Far-Right Terrorism Suspect With a Refugee Disguise: The Tale of Franco A.," 29 Dec. 2020 What makes a forest more than a bunch of trees, or an ant colony more than a lot of ants? Quanta Magazine, "Our Favorite Comments of the Year," 23 Dec. 2020 The destruction was the wreckage of his DC-6 jetliner in the tropical forest outside the airport in Ndola, in what is now Zambia. Edward Kosner, WSJ, "‘The Golden Thread’ Review: Who Killed Dag Hammarskjöld?," 21 Dec. 2020 Once, after a simple identity card check went awry, he and his friends were driven out to a nearby forest in a squad car, dropped in the woods, and told to find their way home. Colette Davidson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Does ‘human rights champion’ France live up to its ideals at home?," 11 Dec. 2020 Brendan spends his days at a scriptorium, learning from a master illuminator, Brother Aidan, and gathering materials for ink in a nearby forest. Mark O’connell, The New Yorker, "Cartoon Saloon and the New Golden Age of Animation," 11 Dec. 2020 And in past years, the city has prioritized planting new trees along streets in other lower-income locations without a mature urban forest. Dustin Renwick, Environment, "How one city plans to recover from losing most of its trees," 10 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As a part of her reporting for Trafficked, Mariana traveled to forest in Thailand to join a team of rangers there patrolling the area for poachers. National Geographic, "Episode 6: The Trouble with America's Captive Tigers," 1 Dec. 2020 Re-introduced by conservationists in the 1920s, their numbers increased in the ’30s, when many family farms were bankrupted, abandoned and then reverted to forest during the Great Depression. Beth Segal, cleveland, "How to keep deer – and rabbits, groundhogs and other hungry critters – out of your vegetable garden," 13 Aug. 2020 The Mbe Mountains forest in southern Nigeria, where these images were captured, is home to about a third of the total population. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Images Offer a Rare Glimpse of Cross River Gorillas With Their Babies," 13 July 2020 Alongside exhibitions—from William Wegman, Edmund de Waal—guests can forest bathe, play outdoor chess, and follow a boardwalk halfway around the island. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "51 Things in Europe that Every Traveler Needs to Experience," 4 Aug. 2020 Densely forested Guyana is home to part of the Amazon rainforest, and adventure here extends into sourcing delicious ingredients for daily meals. National Geographic, "Chicken Pepper Pot," 21 May 2020 That has lowered the rate that forests soak up carbon dioxide and increased the risk of wildfires, which have added to emissions. Akshat Rathi,, "Fires in Australia to Push Rise in Global CO2 Levels to Record," 24 Jan. 2020 He was booked into Santa Clara County Jail on 13 counts of arson to forest land. Lauren Hernández,, "Missouri man arrested on suspicion of arson in Santa Clara County wildfires," 25 Sep. 2019 The researchers predict that as these new megafires become more common, there will increasingly be more threats to forest wildlife and less and less biodiversity. Fox News, "California wildfires 'too extreme' even for birds that thrive in burned out forests," 6 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'forest.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of forest


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1828, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for forest

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin forestis (silva) unenclosed (woodland), from Latin foris outside — more at forum

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about forest

Time Traveler for forest

Time Traveler

The first known use of forest was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for forest

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Forest.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for forest


How to pronounce forest (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of forest

: a thick growth of trees and bushes that covers a large area


for·​est | \ ˈfȯr-əst How to pronounce forest (audio) \

Kids Definition of forest

: a growth of trees and underbrush covering a large area

Other Words from forest

forested \ -​əs-​təd \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on forest

What made you want to look up forest? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!