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[foi-er, foi-ey; French fwa-yey] /ˈfɔɪ ər, ˈfɔɪ eɪ; French fwaˈyeɪ/
noun, plural foyers
[foi-erz, -eyz; French fwa-yey] /ˈfɔɪ ərz, -eɪz; French fwaˈyeɪ/ (Show IPA)
the lobby of a theater, hotel, or apartment house.
a vestibule or entrance hall in a house or apartment.
Origin of foyer
1855-60; < French: fireplace, hearth (originally a room to which theater audiences went for warmth between the acts) < Gallo-Latin *focārium, equivalent to Latin foc(us) hearth (cf. focus) + -ārium -arium Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for foyer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Eleven floors below her, in the foyer of the Hotel Manhattan, the after-theater crowd of visitors thronged and buzzed happily.

    The Ghost Breaker Charles Goddard
  • The rehearsals began in the foyer, which troubled me very much.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • In the foyer of a lovely new home in newest New York a Persian rug is being spread for the first time.

    The Romance of a Great Store Edward Hungerford
  • She clucked at the sight of the pool of water he was creating in her foyer.

    Dream Town Henry Slesar
  • Along the walls of the foyer, panelled wainscotting, painted white, is installed.

    The Fairfax County Courthouse Ross D. Netherton
British Dictionary definitions for foyer


/ˈfɔɪeɪ; ˈfɔɪə/
a hall, lobby, or anteroom, used for reception and as a meeting place, as in a hotel, theatre, cinema, etc
(in Britain) a centre providing accommodation and employment training, etc. for homeless young people
Word Origin
C19: from French: fireplace, from Medieval Latin focārius, from Latin focus fire
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 foyer

1859, from French foyer "green room, room for actors when not on stage," literally "fireplace," from Old French foier "furnace, stove, hearth, fireplace" (12c.), from Latin focarium, noun use of neuter of adjective focarius "having to do with the hearth," from focus "hearth, fireplace" (see focus (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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