[ fawr-uh-ner, for- ]
/ ˈfɔr ə nər, ˈfɒr- /


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.

Nearby words

  1. foreign secretary,
  2. foreign service,
  3. foreign-born,
  4. foreign-flag,
  5. foreign-trade zone,
  6. foreignism,
  7. foreignly,
  8. forejudge,
  9. foreknow,
  10. foreknowledge

Origin of foreigner

First recorded in 1375–1425, foreigner is from the late Middle English word foreiner. See foreign, -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for foreigner

British Dictionary definitions for foreigner


/ (ˈfɒrɪnə) /


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