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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

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
Many people maintain that Julieta flies every night to the vast Tijuca urban forest, crossing four kilometers of dense city. Terrence McCoy, Washington Post, 23 Nov. 2023 The black-and-white drama follows the plight of refugees stranded in the swampy forest land that makes up the Polish-Belarusian border. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Nov. 2023 Find modern A-frames with dog-friendly backyards, luxe chalets surrounded by mountain views, and even a treehouse amongst towering forests and hiking trails. Kat Thompson, Condé Nast Traveler, 21 Nov. 2023 About 2 billion tons are now removed every year, but that is largely achieved through the natural absorption capacity of forests. E&e News, Scientific American, 20 Nov. 2023 In 2017, an enormous wildfire almost cut the region’s connection, which depends on three transmission lines coming through a single hundred-and-forty-foot-wide corridor that traverses mountain and forest. Bill McKibben, The New Yorker, 20 Nov. 2023 In the past two decades, forest fires in the U.S. have become progressively more intense, frequent and widespread, according to climate scientists and wildfire experts. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 20 Nov. 2023 Riccardo Hernández’s set surrounds the playing space with curving walls flooded with verdant projections to give a sense of the walls of forest flanking the river. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, 17 Nov. 2023 In a healthy forest, high biodiversity enables multiple relationships binding trees, birds, insects and soil microorganisms; that’s in contrast to plantations, where such relationships are much sparser. Chirag Dhara, Scientific American, 8 Nov. 2023
Another nearly rainless summer had left the Sierra Nevada forests desert dry, and the National Weather Service had issued a Red Flag warning for strong winds and low humidity. John Riha, Discover Magazine, 12 Nov. 2023 Scenic designer Nadir Bey’s set, forested with security-style floodlights, adds to the intensity. Celia Wren, Washington Post, 8 Nov. 2023 One of the likely reasons some parts of the community still don't have access to broadband is the terrain, which can be rocky and heavily forested. Josh Snyder, Arkansas Online, 29 Oct. 2023 The spongy moth is currently the most prevalent invasive problem in Wisconsin forests The spongy moth, McNee said, is currently the biggest invasive problem for Wisconsin's trees. Claire Reid, Journal Sentinel, 2 Aug. 2023 The ascent up its conical face promised to be an immersion into Guatemala’s natural order, taking us through an array of ecosystems, from farmland to cloud and alpine forests to the volcanic crater. David Amsden, Travel + Leisure, 19 Aug. 2023 The public’s videos also draw attention to the unique biodiversity in Arizona’s Sky Islands, the mountains that rise from desert to forest around southeastern Arizona and in Sonora, Hart said. Brandon Loomis, The Arizona Republic, 25 July 2023 Whereas colonial officers had economic motivations for converting grasslands, today governments worldwide are banking on forests and foresting to mitigate climate change. Sutirtha Lahiri, Scientific American, 3 Mar. 2023 Hugging the region's main waterway, Cuyahoga Valley has forested hiking trails, sandstone cliffs, and more than 70 waterfalls. Alex Schechter, Travel + Leisure, 25 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'forest.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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. 2023.

Kids Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on forest

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