[fawr-in, for-]


Origin of foreign

1200–50; Middle English forein < Old French forain, forein < Vulgar Latin *forānus, derivative of Latin forās outside
Related formsfor·eign·ly, adverbfor·eign·ness, nounnon·for·eign, adjectivenon·for·eign·ness, nounpro·for·eign, adjectivequa·si-for·eign, adjectiveun·for·eign, adjective

Synonyms for foreign Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for foreign

Contemporary Examples of foreign

Historical Examples of foreign

  • At that age and in its then condition a strong ruler--native if possible, if not, foreign--was by far the best hope for Ireland.

  • The national type of woman appears here in good preservation, and not too much hampered by foreign airs.

    Spanish Vistas

    George Parsons Lathrop

  • Eventually he was thrust from his high position by an intrigue set on foot by German courtiers and backed by foreign influence.

    Memoirs of Leonora Christina

    Leonora Christina Ulfeldt

  • Other blind species are found in foreign waters, while others with small eyes are found in American waters.

  • Upon this another of the foreign merchants cries, By gar, if they will not have it at all, we must throw it overboard!

British Dictionary definitions for foreign



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