foist

verb
\ 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

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 Clean Power Plan was basically to foist California’s suicidal regulation of electricity on the rest of the country. Mario Loyola, National Review, 17 Mar. 2022 But my parents and grandparents, who are both in the process of downsizing to smaller homes, keep trying to foist stuff off on me -- photographs, small household items, paintings, fancy silver pieces, etc. oregonlive, 21 Oct. 2021 The goal, as always, is to get more favorable coverage for the GOP and foist less favorable coverage on Democrats; the goal is never to get factual or truthful coverage of either. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 14 Jan. 2022 The fear is that omicron will foist even more patients, and perhaps sicker ones, onto hospitals. Heather Hollingsworth, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Dec. 2021 Utilities must get approval from state utility commissions to pass along any such costs, and much of the Gulf Coast area doesn't have public commissions willing to foist rate increases of 15% to 20% to take on grid hardening measures, Beebe said. Arkansas Online, 2 Sep. 2021 Trolls did this in an attempt to foist blame onto him. Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2021 Cobra Kai can and does foist ’80s pop culture on anyone within leg-sweeping distance. Cydney Lee, Vulture, 5 Aug. 2021 Many people will discuss this as a faltering of culture and will foist blame on leadership. Thomas Bradley Cox, Forbes, 11 May 2021 See More

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.

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

Learn More About foist

Time Traveler for foist

Time Traveler

The first known use of foist was circa 1587

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About foist

Dictionary Entries Near foist

foisonless

foist

foister

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for foist

Last Updated

28 Mar 2022

Cite this Entry

“Foist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/foist. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on foist

Nglish: Translation of foist for Spanish Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!