• synonyms


[fawr-ey, for-ey]
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  1. a quick raid, usually for the purpose of taking plunder: Vikings made a foray on the port.
  2. a quick, sudden attack: The defenders made a foray outside the walls.
  3. an initial venture: a successful foray into politics.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to make a raid; pillage; maraud.
  2. to invade or make one's way, as for profit or adventure: foreign industries foraying into U.S. markets.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to ravage in search of plunder; pillage.
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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

Synonyms for foray

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for foray

inroad, raid, invasion, descent, irruption, sortie, attack, depredation, reconnaissance, sally

Examples from the Web for foray

Contemporary Examples of foray

Historical Examples of foray

  • Nor did such office of leader outlast a foray or a campaign.

    Life of Schamyl

    John Milton Mackie

  • The foray was a crazy idea, and Shann wondered again why he had agreed to it.

    Storm Over Warlock

    Andre Norton

  • The season of the foray had opened and flocks must be guarded by day and night.

  • He would not go to foray, after the fashion of outlaws, and there was no need of this.

    Eric Brighteyes

    H. Rider Haggard

  • He determined, therefore, on every account, to make a foray into Macedon.


    Jacob Abbott

British Dictionary definitions for foray


  1. a short raid or incursion
  2. a first attempt or new undertaking
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  1. to raid or ravage (a town, district, etc)
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper