[dee-fawr-ist, -for-]

verb (used with object)

to divest or clear of forests or trees: Poor planning deforested the area in ten years.

Origin of deforest

First recorded in 1530–40; de- + forest
Related formsde·for·est·a·tion, nounde·for·est·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for deforestation

erosion, desertification, logging

Examples from the Web for deforestation

Contemporary Examples of deforestation

  • Washington excused its employment on the grounds that U.S. forces used it for purposes of “deforestation” and not against people.

  • By June, deforestation in the rainforest region had dropped to a 23-year low, and is down 75 percent just since 2004.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The New Gold Rush

    Mac Margolis

    August 19, 2011

  • Brazil is the fourth-largest greenhouse-gas emitter in the world, largely due to the deforestation of the Amazon.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Climate Showdown

    The Daily Beast

    December 4, 2009

  • My father always seemed to be traveling to some exotic place to raise awareness on deforestation issues and species protection.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Newsom's California Dream

    Matthew Dakotah

    October 7, 2009

  • There has been a big advance in the last year with the deforestation agenda.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Why Obama Can't Wait on Climate

    Matthew Dakotah

    September 21, 2009

Historical Examples of deforestation

British Dictionary definitions for deforestation



(tr) to clear of treesAlso: disforest
Derived Formsdeforestation, noundeforester, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for deforestation

1884, from deforest + -ation. Earlier was deforesting (1530s) which was a legal term for the change in definition of a parcel of land from "forest" to something else.



1880 in modern sense, from de- + forest. Related: Deforested; deforesting. Disforest in the sense "to clear of trees" is from 1660s. Disafforest is attested in this sense from 1842; originally it meant "reduce from the legal status of a forest" (1590s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

deforestation in Science



The cutting down and removal of all or most of the trees in a forested area. Deforestation can erode soils, contribute to desertification and the pollution of waterways, and decrease biodiversity through the destruction of habitat.


[dĭ-fôrĭst]Lee 1873-1961

American electrical engineer and inventor who is known as "the father of radio." He patented more than 300 inventions, including the triode electron tube, which made it possible to amplify and detect radio waves.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

deforestation in Culture



The process of destroying a forest and replacing it with something else. The term is used today to refer to the destruction of forests by human beings and their replacement by agricultural systems.


Deforestation is considered to be a main contributor to the greenhouse effect.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.