[ fawr-ey, for-ey ]
/ ˈfɔr eɪ, ˈfɒr eɪ /


a quick raid, usually for the purpose of taking plunder: Vikings made a foray on the port.
a quick, sudden attack: The defenders made a foray outside the walls.
an initial venture: a successful foray into politics.

verb (used without object)

to make a raid; pillage; maraud.
to invade or make one's way, as for profit or adventure: foreign industries foraying into U.S. markets.

verb (used with object)

to ravage in search of plunder; pillage.

Origin of foray

1350–1400; Middle English forraien, apparently by back formation from forrayour, forreour, forrier < Old French forrier, fourrier, equivalent to fo(u)rr(er), derivative of fuerre provender (see forage) + -ier -ier2
Related formsfor·ay·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for foray

British Dictionary definitions for foray


/ (ˈfɒreɪ) /


a short raid or incursion
a first attempt or new undertaking


to raid or ravage (a town, district, etc)
Derived Formsforayer, noun

Word Origin for foray

C14: from forrayen to pillage, from Old French forreier, from forrier forager, from fuerre fodder; see forage
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 foray



late 14c., Scottish, from the verb (14c.), perhaps a back-formation of Middle English forreyer "raider, forager" (mid-14c.), from Old French forrier, from forrer "to forage" (see forage (n.)). Disused by 18c.; revived by Scott.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper