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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English forstage, equivalent to fore- +‎ stage.


forestage (plural forestages)

  1. The part of a theatre stage in front of the closed curtain.
  2. A preliminary or developmental stage.
    • 1905, AMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association:
      The formation of exogenous uric acid is largely within our power; the amount can be diminished by limiting the forestages of uric acid-nucleins and purin derivatives—in the food.
    • 1934, The journal of experimental zoology - Volume 67, page 515:
      The various foot abnormalities have been found to belong to a series of specific types (I to V), all of which have their forestages in embryonic blebs, the final location of which has proved to be decisive for the type of abnormality.
    • 2001, Jeffrey C Alexander, Mainstream and Critical Social Theory, →ISBN:
      The antecedents of exhange are the subjective forms of appropriation of alien possessions, robbery and gift-giving - just as presents given to the chief and penalties imposed by the chief represent forestages of taxation.
    • 2013, Alfred Ribi, The Search for Roots: C. G. Jung and the Tradition of Gnosis, →ISBN, page 150:
      The explanation of Gnostic ideas “in terms of themselves,” i.e., in terms of their historical foundations, is futile, for in that way they are reduced only to their less developed forestages but not understood in their actual significance.
  3. (obsolete) Forecastle.
    • 1787, John Fenn, Original letters, written during the reigns of Henry VI.:
      Ships of Forecastle were ships with Forestages, and carried about 150 men each ; they were the largest ships then in use.
    • 1838, The United Service Magazine, page 22:
      This account differs from that in the Cottonian Roll, as well as from that given by Hackluyt, which are both 14,956. In neither of these, however, is any mention of the ships of forstage, the barges, ballengers, or victuallers.
    • 1977, Leonard George Carr Laughton, ‎Roger Charles Anderson, ‎& William Gordon Perrin, The Mariner's Mirror - Volume 63, page 367:
      Another letter of 1462 also mentions 'great forestages out of Spain'.
    • 1979, Frank Howard, Sailing Ships of War, 1400-1860, page 19:
      The oldest have single-decked and open forestages and the hulls are clinker-built for the characteristic nail pattern is shown; the planks are short.


forestage (third-person singular simple present forestages, present participle forestaging, simple past and past participle forestaged)

  1. (theater) To block so that someone or something appears in the forestage.
    • 1925, O. Henry, Works - Volume 13, page xxiii:
      There is subtle thought, even profound thought, not so much in the working out of the plots as in the selection and forestaging of such humorous situations as make the plots work themselves out.
    • 1991, Susan Lisbeth Chast, Ellen Stewart and La Mama: A Study of Theatrical Spaces:
      Yet, despite the invocation of cultural practices in images, the facade setting preventing the spectators' attention from wandering to an outside environment, prevented spectators from seeing the action as a natural aspect of a total environment by forestaging the action as a construct in response to particular situations.
  2. (by extension) To make prominent; to bring into focus.
    • 2016, Projit Bihari Mukharji, Doctoring Traditions: Ayurveda, Small Technologies, and Braided Sciences, →ISBN:
      Not only was Binodlal one of the first to forestage sontap (“heat”) as the key element in fevers, but he was also one of the first to try to understand sontap as "motion."
    • 2016, Züleyha Çetiner-Öktem, Mythmaking across Boundaries, →ISBN, page 61:
      It forestages the insistent presence of patterns of centre/periphery relations within Chicanidad, or rather the presence of multi-tier Chicanidades, with substantial disparities regarding the needs and problems of their members, increasing the gap between the centred and the peripheral ones.

Etymology 2[edit]

forest +‎ -age


forestage (plural forestages)

  1. (Britain, law, historical) A duty or tribute payable to the king's foresters.
  2. (Britain, law, historical) A service paid by foresters to the king.