foreign

adjective
for·​eign | \ ˈfȯr-ən How to pronounce foreign (audio) , ˈfär-\

Definition of foreign

1 : situated outside a place or country especially : situated outside one's own country foreign cities
2 : born in, belonging to, or characteristic of some place or country other than the one under consideration has a large foreign population foreign languages
3 : of, relating to, or proceeding from some other person or material thing than the one under consideration foreign aid
4 : alien in character : not connected or pertinent this design is not foreign from some people's thoughts— Jonathan Swift
5 : related to or dealing with other nations foreign trade
6a : occurring in an abnormal situation in the living body and often introduced from outside a foreign body lodged in the esophagus
b : not recognized by the immune system as part of the self foreign proteins
7 : not being within the jurisdiction of a political unit (such as a state) foreign corporations

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Other Words from foreign

foreignness \ ˈfȯr-​ən-​nəs How to pronounce foreignness (audio) , ˈfär-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for foreign

Synonyms

alien, nonnative

Antonyms

domestic, native

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Choose the Right Synonym for foreign

extrinsic, extraneous, foreign, alien mean external to a thing, its essential nature, or its original character. extrinsic applies to what is distinctly outside the thing in question or is not contained in or derived from its essential nature. sentimental value that is extrinsic to the house's market value extraneous applies to what is on or comes from the outside and may or may not be capable of becoming an essential part. arguments extraneous to the issue foreign applies to what is so different as to be rejected or repelled or to be incapable of becoming assimilated. techniques foreign to French cuisine alien is stronger than foreign in suggesting opposition, repugnance, or irreconcilability. a practice totally alien to her nature

Examples of foreign in a Sentence

They've visited several foreign countries. We don't get many foreign visitors. Have you studied any foreign languages? She has a foreign accent. the ministry of foreign affairs
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Recent Examples on the Web

The combination of unfamiliarity and a stifling sense of obligation, not to mention the need to deal with a foreign language, is similar in all three cases. Jay Mcinerney, Vogue, "Why, Oh Why Do I Love Paris? Jay McInerney Counted the Ways in a 1986 Story for Vogue, Republished Here in Solidarity With the French Capital, Where Notre-Dame Burned," 16 Apr. 2019 Often, a smart, sweet foreign woman—a 10 in her country—settles for an American two. Casey Wilson, Glamour, "Casey Wilson Wants You to Start Watching 90 Day Fiancé," 25 Mar. 2019 In 2016, the coronet was sold to a foreign buyer for $6.5 million. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "How Queen Victoria’s Favorite Tiara Almost Caused a National Scandal," 31 Mar. 2019 Such tariffs are generally paid by U.S. importers, not foreign countries or companies, and the costs are often passed on to consumers. Eric Tucker, The Seattle Times, "AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s untruths on Russia probe, wall, jobs," 6 Feb. 2019 The Southeast Asian country is rapidly gaining on China as one of the biggest participants in the foreign-investment initiative known as EB-5. Konrad Putzier, WSJ, "Real-Estate Developers Look to Vietnam for Cheap Financing," 5 Mar. 2019 The Wrap reports that Netflix has sunk $25 million to $30 million into the awards campaign, which is apparently the largest-ever budget for a foreign film, and possibly even the largest for any Best Picture hopeful. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "How to Watch Roma, Alfonso Cuarón's Oscar-Nominated Movie," 22 Feb. 2019 Now, India is seeking a foreign fighter for its air force. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Why There's a “New” American Fighter Called the F-21," 20 Feb. 2019 Trying to sort through medical bills that seem like they’re written in a foreign language just makes the situation worse. Mattie Quinn, SELF, "8 Ways to Negotiate and Pay Off Expensive Medical Bills," 15 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'foreign.' 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 foreign

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for foreign

Middle English forein, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin foranus on the outside, from Latin foris outside — more at forum

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Statistics for foreign

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for foreign

The first known use of foreign was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for foreign

foreign

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of foreign

: located outside a particular place or country and especially outside your own country
: coming from or belonging to a different place or country
: relating to or dealing with other nations

foreign

adjective
for·​eign | \ ˈfȯr-ən How to pronounce foreign (audio) \

Kids Definition of foreign

1 : located outside of a place or country and especially outside of a person's own country a foreign nation
2 : belonging to a place or country other than the one under consideration Do you speak a foreign language?
3 : relating to or having to do with other nations foreign trade
4 : not normally belonging or wanted where found foreign material in food

foreign

adjective
for·​eign | \ ˈfȯr-ən, ˈfär- How to pronounce foreign (audio) \

Medical Definition of foreign

1 : occurring in an abnormal situation in the living body and often introduced from outside a foreign body lodged in the esophagus
2 : not recognized by the immune system as part of the self foreign proteins

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foreign

adjective
for·​eign

Legal Definition of foreign

: not being within the jurisdiction of a political unit (as a state) especially : being from or in a state other than the one in which a matter is being considered a foreign company doing business in South Carolina a foreign executor submitting to the jurisdiction of this court a foreign judgment — compare domestic

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More from Merriam-Webster on foreign

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with foreign

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for foreign

Spanish Central: Translation of foreign

Nglish: Translation of foreign for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of foreign for Arabic Speakers

Comments on foreign

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