Definition of forage in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈfôrij/
Pronunciation: /ˈfärij/


[no object]
1(Of a person or animal) search widely for food or provisions: gulls are equipped by nature to forage for food
More example sentences
  • When chimps forage for food they do not ask themselves why, or consider better alternatives any more than does a beaver consider better ways of building dams.
  • He would forage for food in the morning and hope that tomorrow was the day his luck changed.
  • Until the first batch of workers hatches, the queen must forage for all the food herself, and this two - to three-week period is when she is vulnerable to being trapped.
1.1 [with object] Obtain (food or provisions): a girl foraging grass for oxen
More example sentences
  • The true usefulness of the pig lies in its ability to forage anything from household waste to grass, and thrive.
  • These data, and others, have led to the concept that plants actively forage resources from their environment using assessment mechanisms similar to those of animals.
1.2 [with object] Obtain food or provisions from (a place): a man foraging a dumpster finds some celery
More example sentences
  • So, he came to live in that place, and none knew how he lived or gained his sustenance, other than from his foraging the countryside for bottles and other redeemable scrap.
  • For both human and animal there are cues in the environment that help us judge whether to continue foraging in the same location or to forage elsewhere.
  • I now spend most nights foraging the refrigerator and the cupboards for ingredients to concoct something he would like.
hunt, search, look, rummage around, ferret, root about/around, nose around/about, scavenge
1.3 [with object] archaic Supply (an animal or person) with food.


1Bulky food such as grass or hay for horses and cattle; fodder.
Example sentences
  • It may provide enough forage to delay turning cattle into spring pastures with limited growth that could be rapidly over grazed.
  • It provides early spring forage not only for cattle and sheep, but for wild ruminants as well, including deer, bison, elk, and moose.
  • Lack of precipitation resulted in a severe decrease in availability of mixed grass forage, resulting in animal BW loss.
fodder, feed, food, provender
2 [in singular] A wide search over an area in order to obtain something, especially food or provisions: the nightly forage produces things that can be sold
More example sentences
  • If only the director trusted her audience, this could've been a sublime forage into the netherworld of the human psyche.
  • A desperate forage in the log pile to feed the wood-burner can wreck a grass snake's winter and even an innocent trip to the cellar for a bottle of wine may prove fatal to a hibernating bat.
  • Kuala Lumpar offers lots to do: a visit to the world's tallest building, a forage in the famous night market or a trip to the Hindu temples at the Batu Caves.
hunt, search, look, quest, rummage, scavenge



Pronunciation: /ˈfôrijər/
Pronunciation: /ˈfärijər/
Example sentences
  • A hive entrance was blocked for 1 min, and four returning foragers were collected in individual plastic vials.
  • At about 3 weeks of age workers leave the hive as foragers who gather pollen and nectar and are exposed to a more variable environment.
  • It is relatively easy to imagine that information about food will be available when foragers gather in groups to rest.


Middle English: from Old French fourrage (noun), fourrager (verb), from fuerre 'straw', of Germanic origin and related to fodder.

Words that rhyme with forage

borage, Norwich, porridge

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: for·age

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.