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Webster 1913 Edition


Foreign

For′eign

,
Adj.
[OE.
forein
, F.
forain
, LL.
foraneus
, fr. L.
foras
,
foris
, out of doors, abroad, without; akin to
fores
doors, and E.
door
. See
Door
, and cf.
Foreclose
,
Forfeit
,
Forest
,
Forum
.]
1.
Outside; extraneous; separated; alien;
as, a
foreign
country; a
foreign
government.
Foreign worlds.”
Milton.
2.
Not native or belonging to a certain country; born in or belonging to another country, nation, sovereignty, or locality;
as, a
foreign
language;
foreign
fruits.
“Domestic and foreign writers.”
Atterbury.
Hail,
foreign
wonder!
Whom certain these rough shades did never breed.
Milton.
3.
Remote; distant; strange; not belonging; not connected; not pertaining or pertient; not appropriate; not harmonious; not agreeable; not congenial; – with to or from;
as,
foreign
to the purpose;
foreign
to one’s nature.
This design is not
foreign
from some people's thoughts.
Swift.
4.
Held at a distance; excluded; exiled.
[Obs.]
Kept him a
foreign
man still; which so grieved him,
That he ran mad and died.
Shakespeare
Foreign attachment
(Law)
,
a process by which the property of a foreign or absent debtor is attached for the satisfaction of a debt due from him to the plaintiff; an attachment of the goods, effects, or credits of a debtor in the hands of a third person; – called in some States trustee, in others factorizing, and in others garnishee process.
Kent.
Tomlins.
Cowell.
Foreign bill
,
a bill drawn in one country, and payable in another, as distinguished from an inland bill, which is one drawn and payable in the same country. In this latter, as well as in several other points of view, the different States of the United States are foreign to each other. See
Exchange
,
Noun.
, 4.
Kent.
Story.
Foreign body
(Med.)
,
a substance occurring in any part of the body where it does not belong, and usually introduced from without.
Foreign office
,
that department of the government of Great Britain which has charge British interests in foreign countries.
Syn. – Outlandish; alien; exotic; remote; distant; extraneous; extrinsic.

Webster 1828 Edition


Foreign

FOREIGN

,
Adj.
for'an. [L. foris, foras.]
1.
Belonging to another nation or country; alien; not of the country in which one resides; extraneous. We call every country foreign, which is not within the jurisdiction of our own government. In this sense, Scotland before the union was foreign to England, and Canada is now foreign to the United States. More generally foreign is applied to countries more remote than an adjacent territory; as a foreign market; a foreign prince. In the United States, all transatlantic countries are foreign.
2.
Produced in a distant country or jurisdiction; coming from another country; as foreign goods; goods of foreign manufacture; a foreign minister.
3.
Remote; not belonging; not connected; with to or from. You dissemble; the sentiments you express are foreign to your heart. This design is foreign from my thoughts. [The use of from is preferable and best authorized.]
4.
Impertinent; not pertaining; not to the purpose. The observation is foreign from the subject under consideration.
5.
Excluded; not admitted; held at a distance.
6.
Extraneous; adventitious; not native or natural.
7.
In law, a foreign attachment is an attachment of the goods of a foreigner within a city or liberty, for the satisfaction of a debt due from the foreigner to a citizen; or an attachment of the money or goods of a debtor, in the hands of another person.
A foreign bill of exchange, is a bill drawn by a person in one country, on his correspondent or agent in another, as distinguished from an inland bill, which is drawn by one person or another in the same jurisdiction or country.
Foreign plea, a plea or objection to a judge as incompetent to try the question, on the ground that it is not within his jurisdiction.

Definition 2022


foreign

foreign

English

Adjective

foreign (comparative more foreign, superlative most foreign)

  1. Located outside a country or place, especially one's own.
    foreign markets; foreign soil
    He liked visiting foreign cities.
  2. Originating from, characteristic of, belonging to, or being a citizen of a country or place other than the one under discussion.
    foreign car; foreign word; foreign citizen; foreign trade
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, in The Ayrsham Mystery:
      The cane was undoubtedly of foreign make, for it had a solid silver ferrule at one end, which was not English hall–marked.
    • 2013 August 24, Guardian warriors and golden eggs”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8850:
      Foreign companies love to complain about doing business in China. [] Amid such moans it is worth remembering that, for all the barriers that foreign multinationals face in China, it has welcomed them with open arms compared with the protectionism imposed by Japan and South Korea at comparable stages in their economic development.
    There are many more foreign students in Europe since the Erasmus scheme started.
  3. Relating to a different nation.
    foreign policy; foreign navies
  4. Not characteristic of or naturally taken in by an organism or system.
    foreign body; foreign substance; foreign gene; foreign species
  5. (with to, formerly with from) Alien; strange.
    It was completely foreign to their way of thinking.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Jonathan Swift
      This design is not foreign from some people's thoughts.
  6. (obsolete) Held at a distance; excluded; exiled.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Shakespeare
      Kept him a foreign man still; which so grieved him, / That he ran mad and died.
  7. (US, state law) From a different one of the states of the United States, as of a state of residence or incorporation.
  8. Belonging to a different organization, company etc.
    My bank charges me $2.50 every time I use a foreign ATM.
  9. (obsolete) Outside, outdoors, outdoor.

Synonyms

Antonyms

Derived terms

Translations

Noun

foreign (plural foreigns)

  1. A foreign person, particularly:
    1. (now informal) A foreigner: a person from another country.
    2. (obsolete) An outsider: a person from another place or group.
    3. (obsolete) A non-guildmember.
  2. (obsolete) A foreign ship.
  3. (obsolete) Short for chamber foreign: an outhouse.
  4. A foreign area, particularly:
    1. (now dialect) An area of a community that lies outside the legal town or parish limits.
    2. (obsolete, chiefly in the plural) An area of a monastery outside its legal limits or serving as an outer court.
  5. Short for various phrases, including foreign language, foreign parts, and foreign service.

Synonyms

Translations

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: serious · possession · move · #955: foreign · native · members · fortune

References

  • "foreign, adj. and n." in the Oxford English Dictionary (1897), Oxford: Oxford University Press.