[ fawr-ist, for- ]
See synonyms for: forestforestedforestsforestlike 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.

  1. a tract of wooded grounds in England formerly belonging to the sovereign and set apart for game.

  2. 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

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin forestis (silva) “an unenclosed wood” (as opposed to a park), derivative of Latin forīs “outside.” Cf. foreign

synonym study For forest

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.

Other words from forest

  • for·est·al, fo·res·tial [fuh-res-chuhl], /fəˈrɛs tʃəl/, adjective
  • for·est·ed, adjective
  • for·est·less, adjective
  • for·est·like, adjective
  • non·for·est, noun
  • non·for·est·ed, adjective
  • un·for·est·ed, adjective
  • well-for·est·ed, adjective

Words Nearby forest Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use forest in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for forest


/ (ˈfɒrɪst) /

  1. a large wooded area having a thick growth of trees and plants

  2. the trees of such an area

  1. NZ an area planted with exotic pines or similar trees: Compare bush 1 (def. 4)

  2. something resembling a large wooded area, esp in density: a forest of telegraph poles

  3. law (formerly) an area of woodland, esp one owned by the sovereign and set apart as a hunting ground with its own laws and officers: Compare park (def. 5)

  4. (modifier) of, involving, or living in a forest or forests: a forest glade

  1. (tr) to create a forest (in); plant with trees

Origin of forest

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

Derived forms of forest

  • forestal or foresteal (fəˈrɛstɪəl), adjective
  • forested, adjective
  • forestless, adjective
  • forest-like, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for forest


[ fôrĭst ]

  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.

Other Idioms and Phrases with forest


see can't see the forest for the trees.

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