[foi-er, foi-ey; French fwa-yey]
noun, plural foyers [foi-erz, -eyz; French fwa-yey] .
the lobby of a theater, hotel, or apartment house.
a vestibule or entrance hall in a house or apartment.

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. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
foyer (ˈfɔɪeɪ, ˈfɔɪə)
1.  a hall, lobby, or anteroom, used for reception and as a meeting place, as in a hotel, theatre, cinema, etc
2.  (in Britain) a centre providing accommodation and employment training, etc. for homeless young people
[C19: from French: fireplace, from Medieval Latin focārius, from Latin focus fire]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1859, from Fr. foyer "green room, room for actors when not on stage," lit. "fireplace," from O.Fr. foyer, from L. focarius "having to do with the hearth," from focus "hearth, fireplace."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


intermediate area between the exterior and interior of a building, especially a theatre. Originally the term was applied only to that area in French theatres, comparable to the greenroom in English theatres, where actors relaxed when they were offstage. Because actors were accustomed to visits by friends during and after performances, such areas came to be large and handsomely decorated.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Apartment has hardwood floors throughout and the washer and dryer are located
  in foyer area.
Anyone left indifferent by the house's exterior will surely be knocked flat by
  the foyer.
But outside the study lounge, in the foyer of the campus library, a handful of
  people silently protested.
Includes four performance halls, cinema complex, and inviting foyer with café
  and exhibits.
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