Etymology
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forage (n.)
early 14c. (late 13c. as Anglo-Latin foragium) "food for horses and cattle, fodder," from Old French forrage "fodder; foraging; pillaging, looting" (12c., Modern French fourrage), from fuerre "hay, straw, bed of straw; forage, fodder" (Modern French feurre), from Frankish *fodr "food" or a similar Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *fodram (source of Old High German fuotar, Old English fodor; see fodder). Meaning "a roving in search of provisions" in English is from late 15c. Military forage cap attested by 1827.
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forage (v.)

early 15c., "to plunder, pillage," from forage (n.) or from French fourrager. Meaning "hunt about for" is from 1768. Related: Foraged; foraging.

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forager (n.)
late 14c., "a plunderer," from Old French foragier, from forrage "fodder; pillaging" (see forage (n.)). From early 15c. in English as "one who gathers food for horses and cattle."
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foray (n.)
late 14c., "predatory incursion," Scottish, from the verb (14c.), perhaps a back-formation of Middle English forreyer "raider, forager" (mid-14c.), from Old French forrier, from forrer "to forage," from forrage "fodder; foraging; pillaging, looting" (see forage (n.)). Disused by 18c.; revived by Scott. As a verb from 14c.
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*pa- 
*pā-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to protect, feed."

It forms all or part of: antipasto; appanage; bannock; bezoar; companion; company; feed; fodder; food; forage; foray; foster; fur; furrier; impanate; pabulum; panatela; panic (n.2) "type of grass;" pannier; panocha; pantry; pastern; pastor; pasture; pester; repast; satrap.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek pateisthai "to feed;" Latin pabulum "food, fodder," panis "bread," pasci "to feed," pascare "to graze, pasture, feed," pastor "shepherd," literally "feeder;" Avestan pitu- "food;" Old Church Slavonic pasti "feed cattle, pasture;" Russian pishcha "food;" Old English foda, Gothic fodeins "food, nourishment."
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forb (n.)
"broad-leaved herbaceous plant," 1924, from Greek phorbe "fodder, forage."
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kudzu (n.)
perennial climbing plant native to Japan and China, 1893, from Japanese kuzu. It was introduced in U.S. southeast as forage (1920s) and to stop soil erosion (1930s) but soon ran wild and became emblematic of anything unwanted that grows faster than it can be controlled.
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alfalfa (n.)

common name in North America for "lucerne," a plant in the legume family important as a forage crop, 1845, from Spanish alfalfa, earlier alfalfez, said by Iberian sources to be from Arabic al-fisfisa "fresh fodder." Watkins says it is ultimately from an Old Iranian compound *aspa-sti- "alfalfa, clover," from *aspa- "horse" (from PIE root *ekwo- "horse") + -sti- "food," from suffixed form of PIE root *ed- "to eat."

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gain (v.)

1520s, "obtain as profit," from French gagner, from Old French gaaignier "to earn, gain; trade; capture, win," also "work in the fields, cultivate land," from Frankish *waidanjan "hunt, forage," also "graze, pasture," from Proto-Germanic *waithanjan "to hunt, plunder," from *waithjo- "pursuit, hunting" (source also of Old English waþ "hunting," German Weide "pasture, pasturage," Old Norse veiðr "hunting, fishing, catch of fish").

This is from PIE root *weie- "to go after, strive after, pursue vigorously, desire," with noun derivatives indicating "force, power" (related to *wi-ro- "man;" see virile). Cognates include Sanskrit padavi- "track, path, trail," veti- "follows, strives, leads, drives;" Avestan vateiti "follows, hunts;" Greek hiemai "move oneself forward, strive, desire;" Lithuanian vyti "to chase, pursue;" Old Norse veiðr "chase, hunting, fishing;" Old English OE wað "a chase, hunt."

Meaning "obtain by effort or striving" is from 1540s; intransitive sense of "profit, make gain" is from 1570s. Meaning "arrive at" is from c. 1600. Of timepieces by 1861. Related: Gained; gaining. To gain on "advance nearer" is from 1719. To gain ground (1620s) was originally military.

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