[ fawr-in, for- ]
/ ˈfɔr ɪn, ˈfɒr- /


Nearby words

  1. forehanded,
  2. forehead,
  3. forehearth,
  4. forehock,
  5. forehoof,
  6. foreign affairs,
  7. foreign aid,
  8. foreign bill,
  9. foreign body,
  10. foreign body granuloma

Origin of foreign

1200–50; Middle English forein < Old French forain, forein < Vulgar Latin *forānus, derivative of Latin forās outside

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for foreign

British Dictionary definitions for foreign


/ (ˈfɒrɪn) /


of, involving, located in, or coming from another country, area, people, etca foreign resident
dealing or concerned with another country, area, people, etca foreign office
not pertinent or relateda matter foreign to the discussion
not familiar; strange
in an abnormal place or positionforeign matter; foreign bodies
law outside the jurisdiction of a particular state; alien
Derived Formsforeignly, adverbforeignness, noun

Word Origin for foreign

C13: from Old French forain, from Vulgar Latin forānus (unattested) situated on the outside, from Latin foris outside

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for foreign



mid-13c., ferren, foreyne "out of doors," from Old French forain "strange, foreign; outer, external, outdoor; remote, out-of-the-way" (12c.), from Medieval Latin foranus "on the outside, exterior," from Latin foris "outside," literally "out of doors," related to for1s "door," from PIE *dhwor-ans-, from root *dhwer- "door, doorway" (see door). Spelling altered 17c. perhaps by influence of reign, sovereign. Replaced native fremd. Sense of "not in one's own land" is first attested late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper