• 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


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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for foraying

Historical Examples

  • Breaths come to him in song of the distant Cheviots and the ring of foraying hoofs.

    The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume 9

    Robert Louis Stevenson

  • The Flower of Yarrow herself did not disdain to stimulate, in this way, the foraying spirit of old Harden.

  • He at once concentrated the British forces at New York, pursuing a policy of foraying expeditions in place of regular campaigns.

British Dictionary definitions for foraying


  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

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 foraying



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