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

  • n. Food for domestic animals; fodder.
  • n. The act of looking or searching for food or provisions.
  • intransitive v. To wander in search of food or provisions.
  • intransitive v. To make a raid, as for food: soldiers foraging near an abandoned farm.
  • intransitive v. To conduct a search; rummage.
  • transitive v. To collect forage from; strip of food or supplies: troops who were foraging the countryside.
  • transitive v. Informal To obtain by foraging: foraged a snack from the refrigerator.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Fodder for animals, especially cattle and horses.
  • v. To search for and gather food for animals, particularly cattle and horses.
  • v. To rampage through, gathering and destroying as one goes.
  • v. To rummage.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of foraging; search for provisions, etc.
  • n. Food of any kind for animals, especially for horses and cattle, as grass, pasture, hay, corn, oats.
  • intransitive v. To wander or rove in search of food; to collect food, esp. forage, for horses and cattle by feeding on or stripping the country; to ravage; to feed on spoil.
  • transitive v. To strip of provisions; to supply with forage.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To procure food for horses or cattle by a roving search from place to place; specifically (military), to collect supplies for horses, and also for men or stock, from an enemy by force, or from friends by impressment; in general, to procure provisions or goods of any kind in a predatory manner.
  • To ravage; feed on spoil.
  • To wander far; rove; range.
  • To strip of provisions, as for horses, troops, etc.
  • To supply with forage or fodder: as, to forage horses.
  • To ransack; overrun, as when searching for forage.
  • To procure by forage.
  • n. Food of any kind for horses and cattle, as grass, pasture, hay, oats, etc.: also used humorously of human food.
  • n. The act of providing forage; the act of searching for provisions of any kind: as, the troop subsisted by forage.
  • n. Synonyms Fodder, etc. See feed, n.

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

  • v. collect or look around for (food)
  • v. wander and feed
  • n. bulky food like grass or hay for browsing or grazing horses or cattle
  • n. the act of searching for food and provisions


Middle English, from Old French fourrage, from forrer, to forage, from feurre, fodder, of Germanic origin; see pā- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old French fourage, forage, a derivative of fuerre ("fodder, straw"), of Germanic origin, 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)



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