foster

adjective
fos·ter | \ ˈfȯ-stər , ˈfä- \

Definition of foster 

(Entry 1 of 4)

: affording, receiving, or sharing nurture or parental care though not related by blood or legal ties They are foster parents to three foster children.

foster

verb
fostered; fostering\ˈfȯ-st(ə-)riŋ, ˈfä- \

Definition of foster (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to give parental care to : nurture They are considering fostering a child.

2 : to promote the growth or development of : encourage fostered the college in its early years policies that foster competition

Foster

biographical name (1)
Fos·ter | \ ˈfȯ-stər , ˈfä- \

Definition of Foster (Entry 3 of 4)

Stephen Collins 1826–1864 American songwriter

Foster

biographical name (2)

Definition of Foster (Entry 4 of 4)

William Z(ebulon) 1881–1961 American Communist

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Other words from foster

Verb

fosterer \ˈfȯ-stər-ər, ˈfä- \ noun

Examples of foster in a Sentence

Verb

Such conditions foster the spread of the disease. Would you consider fostering a child?

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The focus on foster care is warranted, advocates say, because transgender youth are overrepresented in the foster system. Samantha Young, sacbee, "Should ‘gender-affirming health care’ be on the radar for California’s foster kids?," 2 July 2018 Most babies are turned over to a family member, but federal law says that any parent whose child spends 15 out of 22 months in foster care can permanently lose their parental rights. Shaila Dewan, New York Times, "Family Separation: It’s a Problem for U.S. Citizens, Too," 22 June 2018 So the time kittens spend in foster care is crucial to their physical and emotional well-being. Robert Rhoden, NOLA.com, "La. black bear makes himself at home in city of Winnfield: report," 1 June 2018 Other urgent needs from child protective services, foster child care, retired teacher health care, drug crisis interventions and on and on, all pull from state resources. Jimmie Don Aycock, star-telegram, "Time for a reality check on public education," 9 May 2018 Sixty-five percent of San Diego County’s high school seniors in foster care completed the FAFSA. Laura Groch, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego County wins California Foster Youth FAFSA Challenge," 17 Apr. 2018 METRO DETROIT Fostering Futures Scholarship Application Period Now Open Young adults who have experienced foster care can apply for a scholarship of up to $3,000 from the Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund through June 30. Brendel Hightower, Detroit Free Press, "Things to do for the week of April 1," 3 Apr. 2018 Statewide, the number of children going into foster care has jumped by 58 percent to 17,023 between 2011 and 2015, according to the report. Meredith Colias-pete, Post-Tribune, "Report: Need for social services aid for children continues," 5 Feb. 2018 Donate to Comfort Case, which gives backpacks full of important items to kids in foster care. Nina Bahadur, SELF, "6 Impactful Ways to Help Migrant Families Separated at the Border," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The South Shore Summer Music Festival is a symphonic tradition that fosters orchestral appreciation and a sense of community. Bob Kostanczuk, Post-Tribune, "Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra continue summer tour tradition," 12 July 2018 Loon was part of Google X, the arm of the search company that fostered audacious projects applying emerging technologies to stubborn problems in novel ways. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Inside X, the Moonshot Factory Racing to Build the Next Google," 11 July 2018 In addition to fostering a safe-space culture internally, Johnson also saw the importance of centering the event around a black female DJ. Ashley Lyle, Billboard, "How 'R&B ONLY' Events Bring the Culture to a 'Whole Other Space'," 2 July 2018 Such changes favor cells with genetic changes that foster their ability to adapt to the altered environment. James Degregori, STAT, "Using the principles of evolution to treat and prevent cancer," 27 June 2018 Jessica said both the mentors and children in The Special Liberty Project benefit from the Tadpole Foundation’s Leave No Trace hiking lessons that foster principles of caring for the environment. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Nonprofit links veterans to youths who lost military parent," 21 June 2018 Ahmad joined the organization last year and heads a relatively new department devoted to fostering diversity across the institute, including Sundance’s artist programs and festival media corps. Jen Yamato, latimes.com, "Sundance and Toronto film festivals pledge increased access for underrepresented critics," 15 June 2018 The hospital is also home to health-care programs that foster innovation among the medical staff, with the support of collaborations among industry leaders and academics. Eliana Rudee, Jewish Journal, "A dose of innovation in security and medical technology at Rambam Hospital," 5 June 2018 Of 50 countries in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s International IP Index, which measures a country’s commitment to fostering and protecting innovation through legal rights, China ranks 25th. Bloomberg.com, "What’s Intellectual Property and Does China Steal It?," 22 Mar. 2018

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

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for foster

Adjective

Middle English, from Old English fōstor-, from fōstor food, feeding; akin to Old English fōda food

Verb

see foster entry 1

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Learn More about foster

Dictionary Entries near foster

fossor

fossorial

fossulate

foster

Foster

fosterage

foster care

Phrases Related to foster

foster care

foster parent

Statistics for foster

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for foster

The first known use of foster was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for foster

foster

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of foster

 (Entry 1 of 2)

—used to describe a situation in which for a period of time a child lives with and is cared for by people who are not the child's parents

foster

verb

English Language Learners Definition of foster (Entry 2 of 2)

: to help (something) grow or develop

: to provide the care that a parent usually gives to a child : to be or become the foster parent of a child

foster

adjective
fos·ter | \ ˈfȯ-stər \

Kids Definition of foster

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: giving, receiving, or offering parental care even though not related by blood or legal ties a foster parent a foster child a foster home

foster

verb
fostered; fostering

Kids Definition of foster (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to give parental care to

2 : to help the growth and development of We're trying to foster a sense of responsibility.

foster

adjective
fos·ter

Legal Definition of foster 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: affording, receiving, or sharing nurture or parental care though not related by blood or legal relationships a foster child a foster parent

fostered; fostering

Legal Definition of foster (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give parental care to

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Comments on foster

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