Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A sudden raid or military advance.
  • n. A venture or an initial attempt, especially outside one's usual area: an actor's foray into politics.
  • intransitive v. To make a raid.
  • intransitive v. To make inroads, as for profit or adventure.
  • transitive v. Archaic To pillage in search of spoils.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sudden or irregular incursion in border warfare; hence, any irregular incursion for war or spoils; a raid.
  • n. A brief excursion or attempt especially outside one's accustomed sphere.
  • v. To scour (an area or place) for food, treasure, booty etc.
  • v. To pillage; to ravage.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A sudden or irregular incursion in border warfare; hence, any irregular incursion for war or spoils; a raid.
  • transitive v. To pillage; to ravage.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To ravage; pillage.
  • To engage in a foray; pillage.
  • n. The act of foraging; a predatory excursion.
  • n. Synonyms Incursion, Raid, etc. See invasion.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an initial attempt (especially outside your usual areas of competence)
  • n. a sudden short attack
  • v. briefly enter enemy territory
  • v. steal goods; take as spoils

Etymologies

Middle English forrai, from forraien, to plunder, probably back-formation from forreour, raider, plunderer, from Old French forrier, from forrer, to forage; see forage.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English forrayen ("to pillage"), a back-formation of forrayour, forreour, forrier ("raider, pillager"), from Old French forrier, fourrier, a derivative of fuerre ("provender, fodder, straw"), from Frankish *fōdar (“fodder, sheath”), from Proto-Germanic *fōdran (“fodder, feed, sheath”), from Proto-Indo-European *patrom (“fodder”), *pat- (“to feed”), *pāy- (“to guard, graze, feed”). Cognate with Old High German fuotar (German Futter ("fodder, feed")), Old English fōdor, fōþor ("food, fodder, covering, case, basket"), Dutch voeder ("forage, food, feed"), Danish foder ("fodder, feed"), Icelandic fóðr ("fodder, sheath"). More at fodder, food. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Left off of the foray is the pony tail girl in leather chaps riding da 'hog'Yeeee Haaaa!

    Motorcycle Reel Test: Abel Super 10

  • The Web retailer's foray is part of the battle forming over the booming mobile-apps marketplace.

    What's News: Business

  • This willed nearness to conscious and unconscious life of her fiction — such that her first literary foray is a story about making a new life and her subsequent fictions sustain a bare minimum of grief-stricken life — can be construed as a phantasy that sustains her work of un/mourning.

    Attached to Reading: Mary Shelley's Psychical Reality

  • Harrison Ford’s other science fiction foray is nothing short of a classic, and one that we’ve seen ripped off countless times since.

    Oscar’s Sci-Fi Snubs: Which is the Most Offensive? » MTV Movies Blog

  • Thus, only a foray from the overall ethical training at least 88 members of Duke’s wonderfully diverse faculty — read, thought police — apparently need.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Congrats to David Lewandowski, VC March Madness Champ:

  • Ispahan is mine own country and I have there a cousin, the daughter of my father’s brother, whom I loved from my childhood and cherished with fond affection; but a people stronger than we fell upon us in foray and taking me among other booty, cut off my yard58 and sold me for a castrato, whilst I was yet a lad; and this is how I came to be in such case. —

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • DownhillBattle’s latest foray is into online music world.

    Recycle your Pepsi tops!

  • My other Latin American foray—into Cuba—came about by happenstance.

    Staying Tuned

  • Among the six followers accompanying the chestnut on his foray was a young dun-colored mare, and in recent weeks she had been keeping close to him and he to her.

    Centennial

  • The foray was a crazy idea, and Shann wondered again why he had agreed to it.

    Storm Over Warlock

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.