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

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Other Words from forest


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


forestation \ ˌfȯr-​ə-​ˈstā-​shən How to pronounce forestation (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 Communities will need to properly manicure adjacent forests, landscape their own private property, and have effective house design and maintenance, Leonard said. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "Australia's indigenous people have a solution for the country's bushfires. And it's been around for 50,000 years," 12 Jan. 2020 In addition to the tankers’ over-exploitation of boreholes, the city is eating into its remaining forests, which feed the springs, while also sprawling over aquifer recharge areas. Peter Schwartzstein, New York Times, "The Merchants of Thirst," 11 Jan. 2020 Venture out with a park guide for a free nature hike to explore the forest, stream ecosystems and natural history. oregonlive, "Homes and gardens events around Portland: nature walks, workshops and more," 10 Jan. 2020 Since September 2019, bushfires have continuously ravaged Australia’s forests, bush, and parks. Sarah Midkiff,, "Lizzo Lends A Helping Hand In Australia By Volunteering At A Food Bank," 8 Jan. 2020 The pieces, which studio Fox then shared online via social media, showcase new tropical island settings, lush forests, and new water creatures mounted by the Na’vi. Nick Romano,, "Avatar 2's new tropical settings and creatures revealed in concept art," 7 Jan. 2020 Then, puddle-jump between a handful of stylish-but-simple lodges peppered across vast acres of bayou, desert, gorges, paperbark forests, and some of the most stunningly secluded beaches in the country. Brandon Presser, Harper's BAZAAR, "Where to Honeymoon in 2020," 6 Jan. 2020 Over the past twenty-five years, Anjouan has lost 80 percent of its forests, cut down by farmers moving higher and higher up the island’s slopes in search of fertile land. Tommy Trenchard, Harper's magazine, "Oceans Apart," 6 Jan. 2020 Born March 11, 1957, Iranians say Soleimani grew up near the mountainous and historic Iranian town of Rabor, famous for its forests, its apricot, walnut and peach harvests and its brave soldiers. Washington Post, "Iran’s popular Gen. Soleimani became an icon by targeting US," 3 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Cal Fire law enforcement officers arrested Graham on September 23 and charged him with 13 counts of arson to forest land and two counts of arson during a state of emergency. Allen Kim, CNN, "Missouri man charged with intentionally starting Reservoir Fire in California," 27 Sep. 2019 The porch at Las Cruces opens to a wide expanse of mountains alternately cleared and forested. Jennie Erin Smith, New York Times, "Stalking the Endangered Wax Palm," 5 Nov. 2019 Four years later, only half the project areas were forested. Will Meyer, Longreads, "Fire Sale: Finance and Fascism in the Amazon Rainforest," 4 Oct. 2019 Before the impact, the area was richly forested and home to many species of dinosaur, as well as small mammals that were around the size of a porcupine. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Fossil bonanza paints detailed picture of mammals after dinosaur extinction," 25 Oct. 2019 The researchers, including computing specialist Devin Routh, built models that drew on variables such as soil type to estimate how much land could be forested, and how much carbon dioxide those trees might suck from the atmosphere. Gabriel Popkin, Science | AAAS, "Catchy findings have propelled this young ecologist to fame—and enraged his critics," 24 Oct. 2019 Four years later, only half the project areas were forested. Will Meyer, Longreads, "Fire Sale: Finance and Fascism in the Amazon Rainforest," 4 Oct. 2019 So, too, will forest fires like the ones this summer that struck Siberia. The Economist, "Why Russia is ambivalent about global warming," 19 Sep. 2019 In addition to the hundreds of thousands of acres of marshland that were drained or diked off, the researchers discovered former wetlands that now are forested that were unknown to anybody. Peter Fimrite,, "New maps show how little is left of West Coast estuaries," 17 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for forest

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for forest

Last Updated

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Forest.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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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

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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).


to insert between existing elements

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