foster

adjective
fos·​ter | \ ˈfȯ-stər How to pronounce foster (audio) , 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 How to pronounce foster (audio) , 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 How to pronounce Foster (audio) , 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 How to pronounce Foster (audio) , 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 Harper lived at the encampment before moving in with a foster family. J.k. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, "An Oakland homeless encampment has a health clinic, pizza oven and free store. But it could get torn down," 22 Apr. 2021 The mother and puppies were taken to San Diego Humane Society’s Pilar & Chuck Bahde Center for Shelter Medicine in San Diego and later found refuge with a foster family through the Humane Society. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Rescued mother dog and nine pups all have new names," 20 Apr. 2021 No sponsor is identified A family member or friend is identified as a potential sponsor Children can be placed with other vetted sponsors, akin to a foster family. Max Rust, WSJ, "A Surge of Children Crossing the Border: What Happens to Them?," 18 Mar. 2021 The dog, who escaped serious injury, was transported to a local animal hospital for medical treatment and subsequently placed with a foster family, the county added. Carly Roman, Washington Examiner, "'Miracle' dog to become service animal for veteran after surviving two-story drop," 16 Mar. 2021 The girls went to live with a prosperous and seemingly happy foster family that turned out to be mean and abusive. Los Angeles Times, "A one-woman watchdog torments the far right in deep-red Northern California," 15 Mar. 2021 Miracle is currently in the care of a foster family while her adoption is finalized, according to county officials. Katie Rice, orlandosentinel.com, "Dog thrown from Daytona Beach motel balcony to be adopted, officials say," 15 Mar. 2021 In second grade, Rosemarie became friends with a girl who lived with a foster family. Ann Givens, Detroit Free Press, "'He killed my baby': Michigan woman 'did everything right' to protect herself from ex," 26 Jan. 2021 Tony stayed temporarily with a foster family before a relative saw his picture in connection with local news reports and alerted the father, FOX 8 Cleveland reported. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, "Ohio boy abandoned at cemetery before Christmas reunited with dad, dog," 1 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb These narratives can foster self-doubt and hinder creativity, but adults can help tweens stay in touch with their creative side by offering them support and guidance. Washington Post, "How parents can help tweens develop their creative muscles, during the pandemic and beyond," 4 May 2021 To foster a virtual environment where NPOs can successfully continue their missions, view other organizations as allies rather than competitors. Kevin Xu, Forbes, "How The Covid-19 Crisis Will Change Nonprofits Moving Forward," 19 Mar. 2021 Through that program, teachers learned to foster an environment of active learning where students could discuss complex topics with one another instead of just passively taking a course. Emily Donaldson, Dallas News, "What a Texas school district can teach others about virtual education," 16 Mar. 2021 Yet, in an industry that still struggles to foster an environment that’s open and equitable for Black chefs, Clark ran headlong into prejudice. Jeremy Repanich, Robb Report, "How Trailblazing Chef Patrick Clark Changed the Story of Modern American Dining," 24 Feb. 2021 Requiring the entire department to participate, and including officers of different rank to lead training, is meant to foster buy-in, department leaders say. Washington Post, "Stepping in when fellow officers cross the line," 21 Apr. 2021 Officials said the trip informed possible policies such as creating a support network for local families who want to foster children. Mallory Moench, San Francisco Chronicle, "S.F. officials, bracing for more migrant children to come north, visit U.S. border," 21 Apr. 2021 Requiring the entire department to participate, and including officers of different rank to lead training, is meant to foster buy-in, department leaders say. Jessica Anderson, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore Police are being trained to step in when fellow officers cross the line. Will it prevent misconduct?," 19 Apr. 2021 However, this won’t be enough to foster a sense of trust. Prathamesh Mulye, Quartz, "A techie who once mistrusted the internet is now building one of India’s largest crypto exchanges," 11 Apr. 2021

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 and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for foster

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for foster

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Foster.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/foster. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce foster (audio) \

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

Comments on foster

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