Definition of foreign in English:



  • 1Of, from, in, or characteristic of a country or language other than one's own.

    ‘foreign currency’
    ‘a man with a foreign accent’
    • ‘Her husband plans to continue working one week a month in Britain, while she has trained to teach English as a foreign language as well as running the guest house.’
    • ‘And today he's a foreign language major at the University of Central Florida.’
    • ‘My life has been spent pretty equally between the two countries, and I flatter myself I speak both languages without any foreign accent.’
    • ‘He noted for some foreign languages there are too few students signed up to offer the course at an individual high school.’
    • ‘The extra characters represent characters from foreign languages and special symbols for simple pictures.’
    • ‘Thousands of foreigners, with foreign currency and language, needed to have a special market set up.’
    • ‘I can even do it in foreign language script and characters such as Japanese and Arabic.’
    • ‘Nearly all books are in Chinese, except in Shanghai and Beijing, where foreign language books are also available.’
    • ‘Even when they are obliged to live abroad for years they refuse either to accustom themselves to foreign food or to learn foreign languages.’
    • ‘Often students are barely able to use their mother-tongue but yet they are still forced to try to use the foreign language of English.’
    • ‘It was felt to be most appropriate for practical subjects, such as design and technology, and least helpful in the case of maths and foreign languages.’
    • ‘And a beautiful thing, for me, was that most spoke with foreign accents and in foreign languages.’
    • ‘But even cutting subjects like music, art and foreign languages has a direct impact on the core subjects.’
    • ‘Several years ago, I wrote to the local press concerning the need to teach Spanish as our first foreign language in all schools, but to no avail.’
    • ‘My father was a foreign language major at Yenching University.’
    • ‘But who on earth goes with the lead on foreign languages when the story also says that the current exams system is going to be dumped?’
    • ‘Some third grade children study at special hagwons in order to get into high schools specializing in foreign languages or science.’
    • ‘The picture of foreign languages was less clear with French and German seeing significant falls in interest but more students taking up Spanish.’
    • ‘The problem arises is that you character talks gibberish and it sounds like some foreign space language.’
    • ‘They study mythology, gardening, cooking, foreign languages, history, botany and physics.’
    overseas, distant, remote, far off, far flung, external, outside
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    1. 1.1 Dealing with or relating to other countries.
      ‘foreign policy’
      • ‘Well, I don't take polls in politics now, so I certainly wouldn't be taking polls in foreign policy.’
      • ‘Speaking about foreign policy, he is also eager to prove himself as a very open man, as a man who will be very active in his dialogue with the West.’
      • ‘No. Are they offering us a new foreign policy or another way of dealing with dictators and terrorists?’
      • ‘Len Downey, will this tragedy change the way you deploy your foreign correspondents and the kind of risks that they will take?’
      • ‘A lot of political operatives and pollsters will tell you this presidential election will hinge on foreign policy.’
      • ‘We've got a great new younger generation of foreign correspondents.’
      • ‘Taubman recounts all of his subject's most significant dealings, both in terms of foreign and domestic policy.’
      • ‘If blame were to be justly apportioned, it would have to extend into the distant past of American foreign policy formation.’
      • ‘He was trying to bring the announcement, the pronunciation of honesty and truth to American and world foreign policy.’
      • ‘A treaty dealt with frontier issues and declared that Tibet was to have no dealings with foreign powers without Britain's consent.’
      • ‘And I love foreign policy, because of the adventure and because of the stakes.’
      • ‘To listen to his high-level critics, one might think that no American president had ever proposed an interventionist foreign policy before.’
      • ‘You gave the president kind of a mixed grade on foreign policy.’
      • ‘The bad news didn't end with the foreign policy.’
      • ‘I think that, ultimately though, that's there a genuine difference as to how we operate our foreign policy.’
      • ‘To truly understand America's foreign policy during the past 12 years, one must look at more than wars.’
      • ‘Lawyers and those dealing with foreign affairs have a smooth week ahead.’
      • ‘Such epistemological conundrums are not limited to foreign policy.’
      • ‘That's something that I have felt was in order for a long time on foreign policy, and now I think he has a clear chance of doing that.’
      • ‘But it was only recently, after the end of the Cold War, that we began letting the vice squad run foreign policy.’
    2. 1.2 Of or belonging to another district or area.
      ‘a visit to a foreign clan’
      • ‘Then I did distribution for foreign films in Japan, mainly gay films.’
      • ‘Capital hedging has been identified as one of the biggest areas of concern by foreign bankers.’
      • ‘But the society is regaining its vigor, with relatively safe areas attracting foreign tourists.’
      • ‘To foreign dominions, which belong to a prince who succeeds to the throne of England, this Court has no power to send any writ of any kind.’
      • ‘The estate is now back to its original 80,000 acres - the largest area owned by a foreign citizen in the United Kingdom.’
      • ‘Wilson, who was 30 when he died, may have had dealings with foreign businesses and investors early in his career when he was based in Edinburgh.’
      • ‘Resistance fighters have frequently targeted foreign planes in the area, which is an insurgent stronghold.’
      • ‘A central pot to pay for healthcare for foreign visitors had been distributed to local health services on the basis of historic payments.’
      • ‘Other models may have been sold in Canada if a retailer bought them from foreign distributors.’
      • ‘One foreign family in the area had actively participated in the festivities since they arrived last year.’
      • ‘The central business district is a diverse area of retail, financial and foreign companies.’
      • ‘The regency's plan to fight the move has gained support from 200 industrial firms in the area that employ foreign workers.’
      • ‘The park has also meant a significant tourism boost to the West Kildare area with Irish and foreign tourists coming in increasing numbers.’
      • ‘But that has still left many gray areas, especially for foreign investors seeking joint venture partners.’
      • ‘Yet these are precisely the areas where foreign students make the biggest contribution to American society.’
      • ‘The explosions occurred simultaneously late last night among areas popular with foreign tourists.’
      • ‘In the first place most of the opium at Lintin did not belong to the foreign merchants in India, and they had no legal right to surrender it.’
      • ‘He gave only vague answers to questions on the alleged presence of foreign troops in combat areas such as Sulu Island.’
      • ‘Consider partnering with foreign distributors or sales reps, for example.’
      • ‘The report also said that the lack of broadband lines outside large urban areas was hampering foreign investment in the regions.’
    3. 1.3 Coming or introduced from outside.
      ‘the quotation is a foreign element imported into the work’
      • ‘She struggled in vain against the darkness surrounding her, but the pain of a foreign element inside her prevented it.’
      • ‘At any time, simply by looking at our hand or our leg, one can experience the feeling that our body does not belongs to us, that it is a foreign object, outside ourselves.’
      • ‘I don't think that it is a good idea to introduce any foreign substance that could adversely affect the development of a baby without a very compelling reason.’
      • ‘The earpiece of the Symbolic Order introduces something foreign into his head - it is language.’
      • ‘Some of the implant techniques introduced foreign material into the body, with occasionally horrifying results.’
      • ‘They are the unwanted foreign element, that which is abnormal in comparison to the protagonist's normal state.’
      • ‘Electroporation is a common method to introduce foreign molecules into cells, but its molecular basis is poorly understood.’
      • ‘And that means food without all the weird foreign genes running around in it.’
      • ‘The result is a wonderful collage of elements, both foreign and indigenous to the peninsula.’
      • ‘This label encompasses processes such as deleting a gene from or introducing a foreign gene into a plant's DNA.’
      • ‘The process was helped, after the mid-sixteenth century, by the arrival of a new foreign element.’
      • ‘I carefully surveyed the area for footprints, foreign items and so on, then photographed the scene.’
      • ‘The body possesses an innate tendency to reject and destroy any foreign material introduced into it.’
      • ‘They mix and match a wide range of disparate foreign elements to create a melting pot of human and mechanical voices, jingles, sounds and samples.’
      • ‘Lawyers protested that it would expose clients to unreasonable pressure, and introduce a foreign element into the court.’
      • ‘Now introduce two types of foreign elements - lets say bacteria and viruses.’
  • 2Strange and unfamiliar.

    ‘I suppose this all feels pretty foreign to you’
    • ‘The sunlight seemed strange, foreign somehow, as if filtered through a glass.’
    • ‘It felt too strange, too foreign, like she'd forsaken all of her unknown past.’
    • ‘We're so used to the idea of the media as something that we're privileged to have, that the idea of it actively coming to us is foreign and strange.’
    • ‘Your flashy world of moving pictures and gender equality is strange and foreign to me.’
    • ‘The deeply forgotten greets us as foreign but also makes strange the familiar.’
    • ‘There is a tendency to regard extremism and reaction within a part of the Muslim community in the west as something intrinsically strange or foreign.’
    • ‘It isn't an unpleasant sensation, there is no pain to it, but it is so strange and foreign it causes me brief alarm.’
    • ‘As the metal slices through my wrist, I can only feel the strange, foreign feeling of dizziness.’
    • ‘It is regarded as strange and intrinsically foreign.’
    • ‘It was a tough country and the animals and plants in this country were totally foreign to them.’
    • ‘Yet, aren't new influences that seem foreign and unfamiliar also agents of positive change?’
    • ‘Already, the traditional winter is something foreign to many British children.’
    • ‘I got out of this strange and foreign bed to wander into the glass tiled halls filled with black marble.’
    • ‘They stand out like the Harbour Bridge in their getups and habits, which are foreign to most Aussies.’
    • ‘She stared at his hand as if it were some strange foreign object and reluctantly shook it.’
    • ‘It was so strange and foreign a concept that the very thought scared me more than anything in my entire period of life.’
    • ‘We are free and the consciousness of the material world of the senses stands before us as something strange and foreign which no longer wears us down.’
    • ‘All the plants were strange and unfamiliar, the steamy smells equally foreign.’
    • ‘That was the only word that could describe it, weird, or strange, or unknown, foreign.’
    • ‘It's perfectly natural that it would feel kinda weird and foreign the first time.’
    unfamiliar, unknown, unheard of, strange, alien, exotic, outlandish, odd, peculiar, curious, bizarre, weird, queer, funny
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    1. 2.1foreign to Not belonging to or characteristic of.
      ‘crime and brutality are foreign to our nature’
      • ‘To deprive someone of their liberty without telling them the charge or the evidence is completely foreign to our system of justice.’
      • ‘The so-called New Zealand way of life is becoming increasingly foreign to a growing number.’
      • ‘Any use that is not utterly foreign to its character as a motor vehicle is, I consider, covered by the words.’
      • ‘Thereafter, when Yohanan came to her, Miriam expressed astonishment at behavior so foreign to his character.’
      • ‘The idea of willing mutual submission in love is largely foreign to our minds.’
      • ‘If we take a look at the human rights history in Indonesia, the issue of human rights should not have been foreign to the country.’
      • ‘As a matter of style, Buckland and Newton work in a tradition largely foreign to North America.’
      • ‘We see wood take forms that are completely foreign to it, like a chair that's made with spindles and dowels.’
      • ‘They played with a clarity of intention foreign to the home side, an economical set of ideas that were always on the money.’
      • ‘Cowardice is a concept foreign to your very being, and by nature you are something of an adventurer.’
      • ‘For a voter to be guided only by the fundamentality of human life risks falling into a radicalism that is foreign to the Catholic moral tradition.’
      • ‘Some commentators believe soccer is fundamentally foreign to the American psyche and will never catch on.’
      • ‘Okay, if politicking based on one's beliefs is foreign to Inuit, why is he doing it right now?’
      • ‘They have tried to persuade society to reject practices that are foreign to Islam.’
      irrelevant, not pertinent, inappropriate, inapposite, extraneous, unrelated, unconnected
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Middle English foren, forein, from Old French forein, forain, based on Latin foras, foris ‘outside’, from fores ‘door’. The current spelling arose in the 16th century, by association with sovereign.