Forez (fôrāˈ) [key], hilly agricultural region, E central France, in the Massif Central, mostly in Loire dept. and partially in Puy-de-Dôme dept. Roanne is the chief town. The region was known as Pagus Forensis under the Carolingians. In the 10th cent. it was an earldom dependent on Burgundy. Annexed to the French crown lands in 1527, it was incorporated into Lyonnais prov.