[fawr-uh-ner, for-]


a person not native to or naturalized in the country or jurisdiction under consideration; alien.
a person from outside one's community.
a thing produced in or brought from a foreign country.
Nautical. a foreign vessel.

Origin of foreigner

First recorded in 1375–1425, foreigner is from the late Middle English word foreiner. See foreign, -er1

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

Examples from the Web for foreigner

Contemporary Examples of foreigner

Historical Examples of foreigner

  • What he specially disliked was that his master was a foreigner.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • How can I be a foreigner in my own country, here where I was born?

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • She was a foreigner, but spoke French so perfectly that I was stupefied.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • A plot in the prisons, of the foreigner against the Republic.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

  • It will be a curious sight, especially for a foreigner, and I advise you not to miss it.

British Dictionary definitions for foreigner



a person from a foreign country; alien
an outsider or interloper
something from a foreign country, such as a ship or product
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 foreigner

early 15c., foreyner; see foreign + -er (1).

In ordinary use chiefly applied to those who speak a foreign language as their native tongue; thus in England the term is not commonly understood to include Americans. [OED]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper