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for·​est ˈfȯr-əst How to pronounce forest (audio)
often attributive
: a dense growth of trees and underbrush covering a large tract
A fire destroyed acres of forest.
forests of pine and mahogany
: a tract of wooded land in England formerly owned by the sovereign and used for game
: something resembling a forest especially in profusion or lushness
a forest of microphones
a kelp forest
a forest of skyscrapers
forestal adjective
or forestial
fə-ˈre-stē-əl How to pronounce forest (audio)
forested adjective


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forested; foresting; forests

transitive verb

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

Example Sentences

Noun Fires destroyed acres of forest. the endless forest that the first European settlers encountered
Recent Examples on the Web
In these regions, turkeys will forage from mast-producing tree species in the forest. Cole Sikes Communications And Marketing Specialist Alabama Cooperative Extension System, al, 23 Mar. 2023 Photos published by state media showed Kim walking through a forest with his daughter and senior military officials and a missile the North described as a tactical nuclear weapon system soaring from the woods spewing flames and smoke. Kim Tong-hyung, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Mar. 2023 These are very easy to lose in tall grass or leaf litter in the forest. Travis Smola, Field & Stream, 20 Mar. 2023 In one scene, Elora Danan encounters two woods-women chopping wood in a magical forest. Erik Kain, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2023 One mask depicts an old woman, a crown of blue-black crows circling above her forlorn face, alluding to the ubasute story — which appears in both folk tales and Noh — of an elderly family member abandoned in the forest. Hannah Kirshner Bon Duke, New York Times, 16 Mar. 2023 It’s spliced with footage of them in the forest, laying among the foliage, digging their hands in the dirt. Julissa James, Los Angeles Times, 15 Mar. 2023 Three days after being reported missing, an Arkansas teenager was found shot to death in a forest in Mississippi. Nicole Acosta, Peoplemag, 13 Mar. 2023 Set in a forest and played out in real time, the boy’s parents search for him. John Hopewell, Variety, 12 Mar. 2023
And that setting shifts—from city to forest to small town, flooded hotels to overgrown museums. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 10 Jan. 2023 The viper was transported to a cage in a lab that resembled the semi-arid land of scrub and forest the snakes normally inhabit. Troy Farah, Discover Magazine, 17 Apr. 2019 Buhl said impacts to forest health are taking out roughly as many trees as wildfires, which are also now more likely and more intense by climate change. Evan Bush, NBC News, 11 Dec. 2022 Acknowledging the benefits that cultural burning once offered to forest resilience, park officials have sought to bring low-intensity fire back to the landscape in the last 50 years. Alex Wigglesworth, Los Angeles Times, 30 July 2022 There is little data on serious injuries to forest watchers in India, but the country has recorded at least 318 ranger deaths since 2012, according to the International Ranger Federation. New York Times, 21 Feb. 2022 These three trails have varied scenery from urban to forest to rural areas. John Pana, cleveland, 1 Jan. 2022 Food production is responsible for major water quantity and quality problems, often requires herbicides and pesticides that endanger biodiversity, and engenders forest and wildland losses when lands are converted to agriculture. Alejandra Borunda, Environment, 27 Dec. 2021 Rights to forest land are contentious worldwide, with indigenous and local communities from Brazil to India pitted against government officials and hardline conservationists. Rina Chandran, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

Word History


Noun and Verb

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

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1828, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near forest

Cite this Entry

“Forest.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a dense growth of trees and underbrush covering a large area

More from Merriam-Webster on forest

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