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

forestal, forestial [fuh-res-chuhl] , adjective
forested, adjective
forestless, adjective
forestlike, adjective
nonforest, noun
nonforested, adjective
unforested, adjective
well-forested, adjective

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. Unabridged


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

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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fore1 (fɔː)
1.  (usually in combination) located at, in, or towards the front: the forelegs of a horse
2.  the front part
3.  something located at, in, or towards the front
4.  short for foremast
5.  fore and aft located at or directed towards both ends of a vessel: a fore-and-aft rig
6.  to the fore
 a.  to or into the front or conspicuous position
 b.  (Scot), (Irish) alive or active: is your grandfather still to the fore?
7.  at or towards a ship's bow
8.  obsolete before
prep, —conj
9.  a less common word for before
[Old English; related to Old Saxon, Old High German fora, Gothic faura, Greek para, Sanskrit pura]

fore2 (fɔː)
(in golf) a warning shout made by a player about to make a shot
[C19: probably short for before]

forest (ˈfɒrɪst)
1.  a large wooded area having a thick growth of trees and plants
2.  the trees of such an area
3.  (NZ) Compare bush an area planted with exotic pines or similar trees
4.  something resembling a large wooded area, esp in density: a forest of telegraph poles
5.  law Compare park (formerly) an area of woodland, esp one owned by the sovereign and set apart as a hunting ground with its own laws and officers
6.  (modifier) of, involving, or living in a forest or forests: a forest glade
7.  (tr) to create a forest (in); plant with trees
[C13: from Old French, from Medieval Latin forestis unfenced woodland, from Latin foris outside]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. fore (prep.) "before, in front of;" (adv.) "before, previously," common Gmc. (cf. O.H.G. fora, O.Fris. fara, Ger. vor, Goth. faiura, O.N. fyrr "for"); from PIE *per-/*pr- (cf. Skt. pura "before, formerly;" Avestan paro "before;" Hittite para- "on, forth;" Gk. paros "before," para "from beside, beyond,"
peri "around, about, toward," pro "before;" L. pro "before, for, on behalf of, instead of," prae "before," per "through, for;" O.C.S. pra-dedu "great-grandfather"). The warning cry in golf is first recorded 1878, probably a contraction of before.

c.1300, "extensive tree-covered district," especially one set aside for royal hunting and under the protection of the king, from O.Fr. forest, probably from L.L./M.L. forestem silvam "the outside woods," a term from the Capitularies of Charlemagne denoting "the royal forest;" perhaps via O.H.G. forst,
from L. foris "outside," with a sense of "beyond the park," the park being the main or central fenced woodland. Another theory traces it through M.L. forestis, originally "forest preserve, game preserve," from L. forum in legal sense "court, judgment;" in other words "land subject to a ban." Replaced O.E. wudu.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
forest   (fôr'ĭst)  Pronunciation Key 
A dense growth of trees and underbrush 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 © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Bible Dictionary

Forest definition

Heb. ya'ar, meaning a dense wood, from its luxuriance. Thus all the great primeval forests of Syria (Eccl. 2:6; Isa. 44:14; Jer. 5:6; Micah 5:8). The most extensive was the trans-Jordanic forest of Ephraim (2 Sam. 18:6, 8; Josh. 17:15, 18), which is probably the same as the wood of Ephratah (Ps. 132:6), some part of the great forest of Gilead. It was in this forest that Absalom was slain by Joab. David withdrew to the forest of Hareth in the mountains of Judah to avoid the fury of Saul (1 Sam. 22:5). We read also of the forest of Bethel (2 Kings 2:23, 24), and of that which the Israelites passed in their pursuit of the Philistines (1 Sam. 14:25), and of the forest of the cedars of Lebanon (1 Kings 4:33; 2 Kings 19:23; Hos. 14:5, 6). "The house of the forest of Lebanon (1 Kings 7:2; 10:17; 2 Chr. 9:16) was probably Solomon's armoury, and was so called because the wood of its many pillars came from Lebanon, and they had the appearance of a forest. (See BAALBEC.) Heb. horesh, denoting a thicket of trees, underwood, jungle, bushes, or trees entangled, and therefore affording a safe hiding-place. place. This word is rendered "forest" only in 2 Chr. 27:4. It is also rendered "wood", the "wood" in the "wilderness of Ziph," in which david concealed himself (1 Sam. 23:15), which lay south-east of Hebron. In Isa. 17:19 this word is in Authorized Version rendered incorrectly "bough." Heb. pardes, meaning an enclosed garden or plantation. Asaph is (Neh. 2:8) called the "keeper of the king's forest." The same Hebrew word is used Eccl. 2:5, where it is rendered in the plural "orchards" (R.V., "parks"), and Cant. 4: 13, rendered "orchard" (R.V. marg., "a paradise"). "The forest of the vintage" (Zech. 11:2, "inaccessible forest," or R.V. "strong forest") is probably a figurative allusion to Jerusalem, or the verse may simply point to the devastation of the region referred to. The forest is an image of unfruitfulness as contrasted with a cultivated field (Isa. 29:17; 32:15; Jer. 26:18; Hos. 2:12). Isaiah (10:19, 33, 34) likens the Assyrian host under Sennacherib (q.v.) to the trees of some huge forest, to be suddenly cut down by an unseen stroke.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see can't see the forest for the trees.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
The pine trees framing the entrance to the forest appear to be normal.
Forest-inspired style is one of the season's hottest trends for objects large and small.
In a deciduous forest in autumn, leaves are going to fall.
In my favorite children's books, there was always a dark forest filled with unfamiliar shadows and strange inhabitants.
Images for forest
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