[fawr-ist, for-]
See more synonyms for forest on
  1. a large tract of land covered with trees and underbrush; woodland.
  2. the trees on such a tract: to cut down a forest.
  3. a tract of wooded grounds in England formerly belonging to the sovereign and set apart for game.
  4. a thick cluster of vertical objects: a forest of church spires.
verb (used with object)
  1. to supply or cover with trees; convert into a forest.

Origin of forest

1250–1300; Middle English < Old French < Late Latin forestis (silva) an unenclosed wood (as opposed to a park), derivative of Latin forīs outside. Cf. foreign
Related formsfor·est·al, fo·res·tial [fuh-res-chuh l] /fəˈrɛs tʃəl/, adjectivefor·est·ed, adjectivefor·est·less, adjectivefor·est·like, adjectivenon·for·est, nounnon·for·est·ed, adjectiveun·for·est·ed, adjectivewell-for·est·ed, adjective

Synonyms for forest

See more synonyms for on
1. Forest, grove, wood refer to an area covered with trees. A forest is an extensive area, preserving some or all of its primitive wildness and usually having game or wild animals in it: Sherwood Forest; the Black Forest. A grove is a group or cluster of trees, usually not very large in area and cleared of underbrush. It is usually tended or cultivated: a shady grove; a grove of pines; an orange grove; a walnut grove. Woods (or a wood ) resembles a forest but is a smaller tract of land, less wild in character, and generally closer to civilization: lost in the woods; a wood covering several acres.


[fawr, fohr]
  1. situated at or toward the front, as compared with something else.
  2. first in place, time, order, rank, etc.; forward; earlier.
  3. Nautical.
    1. of or relating to a foremast.
    2. noting a sail, yard, boom, etc., or any rigging belonging to a fore lower mast or to some upper mast of a foremast.
    3. noting any stay running aft and upward to the head of a fore lower mast or to some specified upper mast of a foremast: fore topmast stay.
    4. situated at or toward the bow of a vessel; forward.
  1. Nautical. at or toward the bow.
  2. forward.
  3. Obsolete. before.
  1. the forepart of anything; front.
  2. the fore, Nautical. the foremast.
preposition, conjunction
  1. Also 'fore. Informal. before.
  1. fore and aft, Nautical. in, at, or to both ends of a ship.
  2. to the fore,
    1. into a conspicuous place or position; to or at the front.
    2. at hand; ready; available.
    3. still alive.

Origin of fore

by construal of fore- as an adj., hence nominalized; fore and aft perhaps as translation of Dutch or Low German; sense “before” (defs 6, 9) perhaps continuation of Middle English, Old English fore in this sense, or as aphetic form of afore
Can be confusedfor fore four

De Forest

[di fawr-ist, for-]
  1. Lee,1873–1961, U.S. inventor of radio, telegraphic, and telephonic equipment. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for forest

Contemporary Examples of forest

Historical Examples of forest

British Dictionary definitions for forest


  1. a large wooded area having a thick growth of trees and plants
  2. the trees of such an area
  3. NZ an area planted with exotic pines or similar treesCompare bush 1 (def. 4)
  4. something resembling a large wooded area, esp in densitya forest of telegraph poles
  5. law (formerly) an area of woodland, esp one owned by the sovereign and set apart as a hunting ground with its own laws and officersCompare park (def. 5)
  6. (modifier) of, involving, or living in a forest or forestsa forest glade
  1. (tr) to create a forest (in); plant with trees
Derived Formsforestal or foresteal (fəˈrɛstɪəl), adjectiveforested, adjectiveforestless, adjectiveforest-like, adjective

Word Origin for forest

C13: from Old French, from Medieval Latin forestis unfenced woodland, from Latin foris outside

De Forest

  1. Lee. 1873–1961, US inventor of telegraphic, telephonic, and radio equipment: patented the first triode valve (1907)


  1. (usually in combination) located at, in, or towards the frontthe forelegs of a horse
  1. the front part
  2. something located at, in, or towards the front
  3. short for foremast
  4. fore and aft located at or directed towards both ends of a vessela fore-and-aft rig
  5. to the fore
    1. to or into the front or conspicuous position
    2. Scot and Irishalive or activeis your grandfather still to the fore?
  1. at or towards a ship's bow
  2. obsolete before
preposition, conjunction
  1. a less common word for before

Word Origin for fore

Old English; related to Old Saxon, Old High German fora, Gothic faura, Greek para, Sanskrit pura


  1. (in golf) a warning shout made by a player about to make a shot

Word Origin for fore

C19: probably short for before
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 forest

late 13c., "extensive tree-covered district," especially one set aside for royal hunting and under the protection of the king, from Old French forest "forest, wood, woodland" (Modern French forêt), probably ultimately from Late Latin/Medieval Latin forestem silvam "the outside woods," a term from the Capitularies of Charlemagne denoting "the royal forest;" perhaps via Old High German forst, from Latin foris "outside" (see foreign), with a sense of "beyond the park," the park being the main or central fenced woodland.

Another theory traces it through Medieval Latin forestis, originally "forest preserve, game preserve," from Latin forum in legal sense "court, judgment;" in other words "land subject to a ban" [Buck]. Replaced Old English wudu.


1818 (forested is attested from 1610s), from forest (n.).



Old English fore (prep.) "before, in front of;" (adv.) "before, previously," common Germanic (cf. Old High German fora, Old Frisian fara, German vor, Gothic faiura, Old Norse fyrr "for"); from PIE *pr-, from root *per- (1) "forward, through" (see per).

As a noun, from 1630s. The warning cry in golf is first recorded 1878, probably a contraction of before.



mid-15c., "forward;" late 15c., "former, earlier;" early 16c., "at the front;" all senses apparently from fore- compounds, which frequently were written as two words in Middle English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

forest in Science


  1. A growth of trees covering a large area. Forests exist in all regions of the Earth except for regions of extreme cold or dryness.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with forest


see can't see the forest for the trees.


In addition to the idioms beginning with fore

  • fore and aft

also see:

  • to the fore
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.