9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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 fostering
  • He captured pictures fostering appreciation of both the beauty and fragility of the seas.
  • And those who were genuinely interested in fostering friendships tended to react in healthful, positive ways.
  • Unstructured playtime is critical to learning problem-solving skills and fostering creativity.
  • Part of the poetic vitality of the fifties, as you say, was shown in their fostering of ambitious undertakings in translation.
  • Technology is fostering and cultivating a younger audience.
  • In an age when ideas are central to the economy, universities will inevitably play a role in fostering growth.
  • Video games have taken a lot of heat lately, blamed by some for triggering violence and fostering sedentariness.
  • Even small amounts of antimicrobial compounds can have adverse effects by fostering antibiotic resistance.
  • We do need time to misunderstand each other, especially when fostering lost dialogue between humanities and natural sciences.
  • fostering such resilience will be the key to adapting to climate change, he says.
British Dictionary definitions for fostering


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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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 fostering



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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