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

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 But others might think twice before settling down in Sherwood forest. Telis Demos, WSJ, 13 May 2022 Then Kaino pivots and leads us into a mystical forest that’s thick with illusions and storytelling. Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2022 It is estimated that nearly 1.5 billion acres of global forest have been lost to tobacco farming since the 1970s, according to the report. Tracy J. Wholf, ABC News, 12 May 2022 Much of the grounds are devoted to developing a seaside botanical forest filled with tropical fruits and herbs. Travel + Leisure, 12 May 2022 The trail and its 1,500-year-old trees were among the sprawling tracts of sequoia forest burned in wildfires over the past two years. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 May 2022 It was built of Norwegian spruce harvested from a forest less than a half-hour drive from Brumunddal; even the elevator shafts are made of wood. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, 10 May 2022 The terrain is decidedly jungly, with lush broad-leaved forest dominating most of the slopes and limestone crags giving way to hundreds of caves. Graham Averill, Outside Online, 7 May 2022 There were regular attacks, and a missile strike forced them to start sleeping in a nearby forest. Phil Mccausland, NBC News, 6 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 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 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.

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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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Forest.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for forest


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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