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 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 capital Reykjavík saw forest fires on its outskirts. Egill Bjarnason, ajc, 23 Sep. 2021 The idea is to speed up that work, leading to fewer forest fires in the future and savings for the communities. Eve Driver, Quartz, 15 Sep. 2021 Compared to problems of the day -- such as climate change, racial discrimination and forest fires -- respondents expressed optimism that humans will solve communicable diseases such as COVID-19. oregonlive, 14 Sep. 2021 The retreat is situated in an untouched forest offering a quiet escape for those hoping to immerse themselves in the slow rhythm of nature. Roger Sands, Forbes, 21 Sep. 2021 The fire, which started Aug. 14 near Omo Ranch, exploded in steep, rugged forest and charged into town like a fiery freight train after nightfall on Aug. 16. Julie Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, 20 Sep. 2021 There was a magical, cherry blossom-willow forest upon first arrival. Kat Bein, Billboard, 20 Sep. 2021 Under the loft and slide sits a forest made of pool noodles. Holly V. Hays, The Indianapolis Star, 20 Sep. 2021 Before things get harrier, Yorick emerges from the forest, wearing his gas mask and wielding a stick, screaming. Nick Schager,, 20 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To re-forest the hills blackened by the fire, the Camp Marston staff planted 40,000 pine seedlings donated by the California Department of Forestry. San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Sep. 2021 The fires have burned more than 140,000 acres, from soaring mountains along the California-Nevada border to forest north of Mt. Shasta and the gateway to Yosemite. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 13 July 2021 Furthermore, much of the valley and even the surrounding mountains are meadows, which allows heat to radiate upward and outward into the atmosphere faster than would forest or, especially, urban settings. Washington Post, 23 June 2021 Taiga forest north of the Mongolian border, is a mile deep in some places and believed to be 25 million years old. Isabelle Khurshudyan, Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2021 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, 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, 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, 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, 4 Aug. 2020

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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Dictionary Entries Near forest




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Statistics for forest

Last Updated

7 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Forest.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for forest



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

More from Merriam-Webster on forest

Nglish: Translation of forest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of forest for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about forest


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