9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[fawr-in, for-] /ˈfɔr ɪn, ˈfɒr-/
of, relating to, or derived from another country or nation; not native:
foreign cars.
of or relating to contact or dealings with other countries; connected with foreign affairs.
external to one's own country or nation:
a foreign country.
carried on abroad, or with other countries:
foreign trade.
belonging to or coming from another district, province, etc.
located outside a specific district, province, etc.
  1. of or relating to law outside of local jurisdiction.
  2. of or relating to another jurisdiction, as of another nation or state.
belonging to or proceeding from other persons or things:
a statement supported by foreign testimony.
not belonging to the place or body where found:
foreign matter in a chemical mixture.
not related to or connected with the thing under consideration:
foreign to our discussion.
alien in character; irrelevant or inappropriate; remote.
strange or unfamiliar.
Origin of foreign
1200-50; Middle English forein < Old French forain, forein < Vulgar Latin *forānus, derivative of Latin forās outside
Related forms
foreignly, adverb
foreignness, noun
nonforeign, adjective
nonforeignness, noun
proforeign, adjective
quasi-foreign, adjective
unforeign, adjective
1, 3. alien. 4. international. 11. extraneous, outside. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for foreign
  • But the country turned into a bargain destination for people with foreign currencies.
  • The value of his having navigated working alone in a foreign country, she thought, was obvious.
  • What the country's web restrictions mean for its foreign policy.
  • But it's coming from a small lab in a foreign country.
  • He's been criticized for a lack of foreign policy experience.
  • If you were going to move to a foreign country, you'd probably make an effort to learn the language.
  • And it reduces the country's reliance on foreign oil.
  • Are there foreign aid approaches that are not as effective as you once thought they.
  • The physical act of covering a beach with foreign matter changes the beach, affecting this delicate balance.
  • The first of these characters has struck every observer, native and foreign.
British Dictionary definitions for foreign


of, involving, located in, or coming from another country, area, people, etc: a foreign resident
dealing or concerned with another country, area, people, etc: a foreign office
not pertinent or related: a matter foreign to the discussion
not familiar; strange
in an abnormal place or position: foreign matter, foreign bodies
(law) outside the jurisdiction of a particular state; alien
Derived Forms
foreignly, adverb
foreignness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French forain, from Vulgar Latin forānus (unattested) situated on the outside, from Latin foris outside
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 foreign

mid-13c., ferren, foreyne "out of doors," from Old French forain "strange, foreign; outer, external, outdoor; remote, out-of-the-way" (12c.), from Medieval Latin foranus "on the outside, exterior," from Latin foris "outside," literally "out of doors," related to for1s "door," from PIE *dhwor-ans-, from root *dhwer- "door, doorway" (see door). Spelling altered 17c. perhaps by influence of reign, sovereign. Replaced native fremd. Sense of "not in one's own land" is first attested late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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