foreign

adjective
for·​eign | \ ˈfȯr-ən, 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 , 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

If Facebook’s precise on the effect of the 2016 election will be forever unknown, foreign governments continued to find the service a useful tool for various information operations — some of which were directed against their own citizens. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Facebook," 26 Dec. 2018 Any foreign activity is closely monitored and perceived as a potential threat. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Satellites watch over the graves of ancient steppe nomads," 26 Dec. 2018 African-American and especially immigrant men make appearances too (Mr. Sexton emphasizes, for example, that over half the Union Army was either black, foreign-born, or the son of an immigrant), but other groups remain bit players. Caitlin Fitz, WSJ, "‘A Nation Forged by Crisis’ Review: Part of the Wider World After All," 30 Nov. 2018 There were some foreign movies at the indie movie rental places that were about gay stories and sexuality that weren't pornography. Mehera Bonner, Marie Claire, "The 20 Most Graphic and Gorgeous Sex Scenes on TV," 16 Nov. 2018 Friday morning, President Trump used Twitter to issue a rare kind of foreign-policy announcement: a slogan lifted from a pop-culture meme, repurposed to vaguely suggest future political action. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "HBO calls Trump’s Game of Thrones-tinged tweet a “misappropriation” of trademark," 2 Nov. 2018 For the Trump administration, Khashoggi’s case risks top foreign-policy priorities. David D. Kirkpatrick, The Seattle Times, "Interrogation gone wrong, rogue killers: What happened to Saudi journalist?," 16 Oct. 2018 This happens to everyone that has to reside in a foreign country for an extended period of time. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Meghan Markle appears to adopt British accent in new video," 2 Oct. 2018 Gallatin had to manage one of America’s least satisfying trade policies—the decision to keep American ships from calling on foreign ports. Roger Lowenstein, WSJ, "‘Jefferson’s Treasure’ Review: Penny-Pincher in Chief," 19 Aug. 2018

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

15 Jan 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 \

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- \

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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