[fawr-ij, for-]


verb (used without object), for·aged, for·ag·ing.

verb (used with object), for·aged, for·ag·ing.

Origin of forage

1275–1325; Middle English < Old French fourrage, derivative of fuerre fodder (from Germanic)
Related formsfor·ag·er, nounun·for·aged, adjective

Synonym study

1. See feed. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for foragers

Contemporary Examples of foragers

  • Like storm chasers, Alaskan crabbers, and catfish noodlers, foragers come with their own sets of customs and rules.

    The Daily Beast logo
    This Week’s Hot Reads: Sept. 2, 2013

    Damaris Colhoun

    September 2, 2013

  • Morel Mushroom Toasts by Alice Waters The official mushroom of Minnesota, the morel is a particular spring prize for foragers.

    The Daily Beast logo
    5 Recipes for Foraged Foods

    April 20, 2010

Historical Examples of foragers

  • The consequence might have been serious had provisions not been found by a party of foragers.

  • But what became of the families of the habitans after this swoop of your foragers?

    The Golden Dog

    William Kirby

  • This was the way Powell's Valley was opened to our foragers.

  • "Margaret will laugh at our exploits as foragers," said Hugh.

  • Farmers were on small rations, and the foragers had quit looking for what did not exist.

    Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker

    S. Weir Mitchell

British Dictionary definitions for foragers



food for horses or cattle, esp hay or straw
the act of searching for food or provisions
military a raid or incursion


to search (the countryside or a town) for food, provisions, etc
(intr) military to carry out a raid
(tr) to obtain by searching about
(tr) to give food or other provisions to
(tr) to feed (cattle or horses) with such food
Derived Formsforager, noun

Word Origin for forage

C14: from Old French fourrage, probably of Germanic origin; see food, fodder
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 foragers



early 14c. (late 13c. as Anglo-Latin foragium), from Old French forrage "fodder, foraging, pillaging, looting" (12c., Modern French fourrage), from fuerre "hay, straw, forage, fodder" (Modern French feurre) "fodder, straw," from Frankish *fodr "food" or a similar Germanic source (cf. Old High German fuotar, Old English fodor); see fodder). Military forage cap attested by 1827.



early 15c., from Middle French fourrager, from fourage (Old French forrage; see forage (n.)). Related: Foraged; foraging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper