Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Located away from one's native country.
  • adjective Of, characteristic of, or from a place or country other than the one being considered.
  • adjective Conducted or involved with other nations or governments; not domestic.
  • adjective Situated in an abnormal or improper place in the body and typically introduced from outside.
  • adjective Not natural; alien.
  • adjective Not germane; irrelevant.
  • adjective Subject to the jurisdiction of another political unit.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Not native; alien; belonging to, characteristic of, or derived from another country or nation; exotic; not indigenous: as, foreign animals or plants; the large foreign population in the United States; foreign manner.
  • Having an alien situation or relation; external to or away from one's native country: as, a foreign country or jurisdiction; to enter a foreign army or school.
  • [In law, for certain purposes, chiefly in the determination of private rights in a case of conflict of laws, the legislation and the judicial decisions of any one of the United States are commonly spoken of as foreign with respect to the other States, especially as regards matters not within the jurisdiction of the national government. Thus, in each State corporations formed under the law of any other State are termed foreign corporations. On the other hand, as commerce is subject to regulation by Congress, the term foreign port, when used in reference to such commerce, implies a port outside of the United States; when used, however, in reference to a State law giving a lien upon shipping, it may also mean a port of any other State.]
  • Relating to or connected with another country or other countries; pertaining to external relations or jurisdiction: as, foreign diplomacy; a foreign minister; the department of foreign affairs in a government.
  • Being in a place other than its own; not naturally connected with its surroundings: specifically said of an object, as a bullet or any material, present in a part of the body or in any other situation which is normally free from such intrusion. Thus, sand in the eye, or a splinter or dead bone in the flesh, is foreign matter or a foreign body.
  • Not belonging (to); not connected (with); extraneous; irrelevant; not to the purpose: with to, or sometimes from: as, the sentiments you express are foreign to your heart; this design is foreign from my thoughts.
  • Excluded; not admitted; held at a distance.
  • noun A stranger; a foreigner; specifically, one who is not a citizen of the place referred to: opposed to freeman.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Outside; extraneous; separated; alien
  • adjective Not native or belonging to a certain country; born in or belonging to another country, nation, sovereignty, or locality
  • adjective Remote; distant; strange; not belonging; not connected; not pertaining or pertient; not appropriate; not harmonious; not agreeable; not congenial; -- with to or from
  • adjective obsolete Held at a distance; excluded; exiled.
  • adjective (Law) a process by which the property of a foreign or absent debtor is attached for the satisfaction of a debt due from him to the plaintiff; an attachment of the goods, effects, or credits of a debtor in the hands of a third person; -- called in some States trustee, in others factorizing, and in others garnishee process.
  • adjective a bill drawn in one country, and payable in another, as distinguished from an inland bill, which is one drawn and payable in the same country. In this latter, as well as in several other points of view, the different States of the United States are foreign to each other. See Exchange, n., 4.
  • adjective (Med.) a substance occurring in any part of the body where it does not belong, and usually introduced from without.
  • adjective that department of the government of Great Britain which has charge British interests in foreign countries.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective From a different country.
  • adjective belonging to a different culture.
  • adjective Of an object, etc, in a place where it does not belong.
  • adjective US From a different one of the states of the United States, as of a state of residence or incorporation.
  • adjective Belonging to a different organization, company etc.
  • noun informal foreigner

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective relating to or originating in or characteristic of another place or part of the world
  • adjective not contained in or deriving from the essential nature of something
  • adjective not belonging to that in which it is contained; introduced from an outside source
  • adjective of concern to or concerning the affairs of other nations (other than your own)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English forein, from Old French forain, from Late Latin forānus, on the outside, from Latin forās, outside; see dhwer- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English forein, from Old French forain, from Vulgar Latin *forānus, from Latin forās ("outside, outdoors"), also spelled forīs ("outside, outdoors"). Displaced native Middle English elendish, ellendish ("foreign") (from Old English elelendisc, compare Old English ellende ("foreign"), elland ("foreign land")), Middle English eltheodi, eltheodish ("foreign") (from Old English elþēodiġ, elþēodisc ("foreign")), and non-native Middle English peregrin ("foreign") (from Old French peregrin).

Examples

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