\ ˈfȯist How to pronounce foist (audio) \
foisted; foisting; foists

Definition of foist

transitive verb

1a : to introduce or insert surreptitiously or without warrant
b : to force another to accept especially by stealth or deceit when the states … foist unnecessary expenses on local taxpayers— T. C. Desmond
2 : to pass off as genuine or worthy foist costly and valueless products on the public— Jonathan Spivak … inferior caviar has been foisted on an unknowing public …— David Rosengarten

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Did You Know?

An early sense of the word foist, now obsolete, referred to palming a phony die and secretly introducing it into a game at an opportune time. The action involved in this cheating tactic reflects the etymology of foist. The word is believed to derive from the obsolete Dutch verb vuisten, meaning "to take into one's hand." "Vuisten" in turn comes from "vuyst," the Middle Dutch word for "fist" which itself is distantly related to the Old English ancestor of "fist." By the late 16th century "foist" was being used in English to mean "to insert surreptitiously," and it quickly acquired the meaning "to force another to accept by stealth or deceit."

Examples of foist in a Sentence

shopkeepers who foist shoddy souvenirs on unsuspecting tourists

Recent Examples on the Web

That same year, mainstream wine critics were arguing that natural wines were foisting a scam on consumers. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "A New Restaurant, Frenchette, Stands Up for Natural Wines," 19 Apr. 2018 Before MPs foist this decision back onto voters, as Labour plotters hope, lawmakers should start doing their own job of taking some tough votes. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Labour’s Brexit Pains," 17 Dec. 2018 Instead of foisting clothes on those whose options are unlimited, an effort needs to be made to also feature older women, and those who aren’t a size 00. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "If Megan Mullally Can’t Get a SAG Awards Dress, Who Can?," 14 Dec. 2018 Trump also appeared to foist some of the blame for the heightened tension on Democrats. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "Trump called for unity in the wake of bomb attempts — then blamed the media," 25 Oct. 2018 Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people. Fox News, "Jay Sekulow: Mueller investigation needs to end 'very soon'," 9 Aug. 2018 Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of senators has introduced legislation that would block lenders from foisting rotten refi deals on VA borrowers. Kenneth R. Harney,, "How lenders who prey on veterans hurt other homebuyers as well," 13 Feb. 2018 But credit Butler and Co. for rebounding nicely from two dispiriting losses in Houston and, at least for the moment, foisting some angst back onto the heavy favorites, whose offense, by typical Rockets standards, has underwhelmed. Marc Stein, New York Times, "Timberwolves’ Jimmy Butler Rekindles Playoff Fire in Minnesota," 22 Apr. 2018 Gee says the effort attempts to foist responsibility on the court for the president’s ‘‘ill-considered’’ action and Congress’ failure to take action., "Judge denies Trump request to detain migrant families together," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'foist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of foist

circa 1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for foist

probably from obsolete Dutch vuisten to take into one's hand, from Middle Dutch vuysten, from vuyst fist; akin to Old English fȳst fist

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Statistics for foist

Last Updated

15 May 2019

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Time Traveler for foist

The first known use of foist was circa 1587

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More Definitions for foist



English Language Learners Definition of foist

: to force someone to accept (something that is not good or not wanted)

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More from Merriam-Webster on foist

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with foist

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for foist

Spanish Central: Translation of foist

Nglish: Translation of foist for Spanish Speakers

Comments on foist

What made you want to look up foist? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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