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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Joe Biden, who has drawn fire for his opposition to federally mandated integration by busing during the nineteen-seventies and his support for welfare reform in the nineteen-nineties, was foisted with the unenviable task of speaking first. Osita Nwanevu, The New Yorker, "Democrats’ Cautious Return to the War on Poverty," 30 June 2019 Capitalism does not foist any particular celebrity on us, even if capitalist ideology finds many affinities with celebrity culture’s exaltation of individuals. Sharon Marcus, Time, "Even the Internet Hasn’t Really Changed How Being Famous Works. Here’s Why," 25 June 2019 This seeming endorsement of Stalin’s strategy was not part of the compulsory edits foisted upon Grossman. Aaron Lake Smith, Harper's magazine, "The Trials of Vasily Grossman," 24 June 2019 For his opposite number, look to the unfortunate me-first stories foisted upon us by Marty Smith, who ended a segment in New Orleans, where Pelicans fans were celebrating the imminent No. 1 pick of Zion Williamson, by crowd surfing. Crowd surfing. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Phoenix Suns draft pick Cam Johnson is my new favorite player. He should be yours, too. Here's why.," 20 June 2019 The Gerson children seemed to regard Isaac as an annoying nuisance foisted upon them. Adam O’fallon Price, Harper's magazine, "The Maid’s Story," 10 June 2019 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about foist

Listen to Our Podcast about foist

Dictionary Entries near foist

foin

foison

foisonless

foist

foister

foisty

Foix

Statistics for foist

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for foist

The first known use of foist was circa 1587

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for foist

foist

verb

English Language Learners Definition of foist

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

a small bunch of flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!