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.