Definition of disafforest in English:



[with object]
  • 1

    another term for deforest
    • ‘‘I was shown the spot where, until the disafforesting, it had long lain prostrate,’ says J R. Akerman in A View of the Ancient Limits of the Forest of Wychwood, Archaeologia l858.’
    • ‘They grazed cattle on disafforested surfaces, building small stone huts to accommodate themselves, as well as the cattle they grazed.’
    • ‘The sum of £42,000 was expended, and the farm is let at a rental of £4,000; the annual product of the trees, etc., before the ground was disafforested, was about £500.’
  • 2English Law
    historical Reduce (a district) from the legal status of forest to that of ordinary land.

    ‘in 1878 what remained of the forest of Essex was disafforested’
    • ‘From 1618 the area was disafforested and the land leased, often to people who were already occupying it illegally.’
    • ‘In 1596, the ancient hunting park of Toxteth, which had for 400 years been inhabited only by deer and their keepers, was disafforested by the Earl of Derby.’
    • ‘The parish of Wicken, for example, was disafforested at this time.’
    • ‘Many people found it worth their while to pay the king to disafforest their district, so that they could get out from under that regulation.’
    • ‘In 1817 the Commission of Woods applied for an Act of Parliament to enclose part of the forest for the Crown, to do away with commoners right in the forest, and disafforest the whole Forest.’
    • ‘Its clauses provided the framework of forest law throughout the 13th cent., but only in the 14th cent., when large areas were disafforested, did the political issue subside.’
    • ‘Hence, the demand to disafforest in chapter 47 of the Magna Carta.’
    • ‘Tendring hundred had been disafforested by king Stephen before the grant of John mentioned above.’
    • ‘His defence that King John had disafforested Brewood saved his life and he escaped with only a fine.’


Late Middle English (in disafforest (sense 2)): from Anglo-Latin disafforestare.