"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[faw-ster, fos-ter] /ˈfɔ stər, ˈfɒs tər/
verb (used with object)
to promote the growth or development of; further; encourage:
to foster new ideas.
to bring up, raise, or rear, as a foster child.
to care for or cherish.
British. to place (a child) in a foster home.
Obsolete. to feed or nourish.
Origin of foster
before 1000; Middle English; Old English fōstor nourishment, fōstrian to nourish; cognate with Old Norse fōstr; akin to food
Related forms
fosterer, noun
fosteringly, adverb
unfostered, adjective
unfostering, adjective
1. favor, forward, advance; foment, instigate. 2. nurse, nourish, sustain, support, maintain. 3. See cherish.
1. discourage. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fostered
  • Those experiences, along with many others, fostered a caution renowned in mountaineering circles.
  • It is an ecological and economic success, and it has fostered social progress in the community.
  • He proves the virtues of the land and the society in which he was born and fostered.
  • Electronic technology has also fostered an effusion of color photographs in news publications.
  • It seems to me temptation is fostered either by curiosity or an emotional need.
  • Trust in the system is fostered by a history of good performance, among other things.
  • Both fostered gradual but unmistakable reform that has bettered the material lives of tens of millions of people.
  • In the same land they live, on the same food they are fostered.
  • By eschewing definitions altogether, and thus suggesting no choices, it fostered poor writing.
  • However, the media themselves have fostered much of the disillusionment.
British Dictionary definitions for fostered


verb (transitive)
to promote the growth or development of
to bring up (a child, etc); rear
to cherish (a plan, hope, etc) in one's mind
(mainly Brit)
  1. to place (a child) in the care of foster parents
  2. to bring up under fosterage
(in combination) indicating relationship through fostering and not through birth: foster mother, foster child
(in combination) of or involved in the rearing of a child by persons other than his natural or adopted parents: foster home
Derived Forms
fosterer, noun
fostering, noun
Word Origin
Old English fōstrian to feed, from fōstorfood


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Norman, Baron. born 1935, British architect. His works include the Willis Faber building (1978) in Ipswich, Stansted Airport, Essex (1991), Chek Lap Kok Airport, Hong Kong (1998), the renovation of the Reichstag, Berlin (1999), and City Hall, London (2002)
Stephen Collins. 1826–64, US composer of songs such as The Old Folks at Home and Oh Susanna
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fostered



Old English *fostrian "to supply with food, nourish, support," from fostor "food, nourishment, bringing up," from Proto-Germanic *fostrom, from root *foth-/*fod- (see food).

Meaning "to bring up a child with parental care" is from c.1200; that of "to encourage or help grow" is early 13c. of things; 1560s of feelings, ideas, etc. Old English also had the adjective meaning "in the same family but not related," in fostorfæder, etc. Related: Fostered; fostering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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