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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
The morning after the flood, Megonigal walked along boards through the wet forest, stopping to check in with various colleagues. Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Dec. 2022 Around 1999, National Geographic asked me to walk through a forest in Gabon that is an Ebola habitat. Christopher Borrelli, Chicago Tribune, 15 Nov. 2022 Spread by the wind, the black ashes carry alarming news: the forest is on fire and the flames are fast approaching. Leo Barraclough, Variety, 11 Nov. 2022 The forest is dark and deep and menacing, and that menace lies at the heart of the whole corpus of the fairy tales and folktales that form the foundation of our literature. Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker, 31 Oct. 2022 Designed by PWP Landscape Architecture — the same landscape architect that designed Salesforce Park — the forest would be accessible from three sides of the property and would take up 70% of the the block. J.k. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 Oct. 2022 The forest is almost all secondary, spindly pine and spruce less than a century old, reclaimed from the era when the island, like much of Maine, like much of the Northeast, was field and meadow. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper’s Magazine , 17 Aug. 2022 This forest in the United Kingdom is home again for European bison, which haven't roamed there for 6,000 years. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 19 July 2022 Milford police dispatched an off-road vehicle and a drone team to search the woods, but the forest was too dense, the statement said. Nick Stoico,, 18 July 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 At the same time, resistance to forest thinning by some environmental organizations was garnering public attention. Kathleen Ronayne, ajc, 9 Nov. 2021 In recent years forest fires in Alaska have broken records, burning more acreage, more intensely and for longer. Randi Jandt, Scientific American, 1 Oct. 2021 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 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 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



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

More from Merriam-Webster on forest

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