for·​eign·​er | \ˈfȯr-ə-nər, ˈfär-\

Definition of foreigner 

1 : a person belonging to or owing allegiance to a foreign country

2 chiefly dialectal : one not native to a place or community : stranger sense 1c

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Synonyms & Antonyms for foreigner


nonnative, outlander, outsider, stranger



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Examples of foreigner in a Sentence

I can tell by your accent you're a foreigner in these parts.

Recent Examples on the Web

Among those rounded up have been Iraqi women and foreigners from Syria, Turkey, Germany, France, and the U.S., according to sources in Baghdad familiar with detainees. Sophia Jones, Marie Claire, "The Truth About The Wives of ISIS," 4 Oct. 2018 New Zealand privacy activists have raised concerns over a new law that imposes a fine of up to NZ$5,000 (more than $3,200) for travelers—citizens and foreigners alike—who decline to unlock their digital devices when entering the country. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Don’t want New Zealand officials to get into your phone? Pay up to NZ$5,000," 3 Oct. 2018 With more than two months into the fiscal year, the continued lack of appetite from state banks and foreigners is starting to weigh. Subhadip Sircar,, "India Seeks to Jump Start Debt Demand Again as Borrowings Loom," 18 June 2018 But perhaps this is why Trump wants to hire foreigners: Mar-a-Lago — which costs members $200,000 to join (a fee doubled after Trump became president) — hardly pays a true living wage. Fabiola Santiago, miamiherald, "'America First?' Not when it comes to hiring foreign workers for Trump's Mar-a-Lago," 10 July 2018 Many people, both Nepalis and foreigners, who were in the Khumbu [Everest] region during the earthquake, became victims or rescuers. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, "The Devastating Aftermath of an Avalanche on Everest," 6 July 2018 Critics of the veils argue that the ban makes public spaces safer and encourages foreigners to assimilate into the country’s culture. Madeleine Ngo, Vox, "The Netherlands just passed a law banning face veils in public buildings," 26 June 2018 Residents ask about foreigners' fears and apprehensions. Angela Charlton, The Christian Science Monitor, "World Cup host Russia defies Soviet-era, hostile image with smiles," 20 June 2018 Deutsche Bank may be a likelier partner for Commerzbank than any foreigner is for either. The Economist, "Why the euro zone hasn’t seen more cross-border bank mergers," 12 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for foreigner

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

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The first known use of foreigner was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of foreigner

: a person who is from a country that is not your own


for·​eign·​er | \ˈfȯr-ə-nər \

Kids Definition of foreigner

: a person who is from a foreign country

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Comments on foreigner

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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