Definition of foreign in English:

foreign

adjective

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

    ‘a foreign language’
    • ‘And a beautiful thing, for me, was that most spoke with foreign accents and in foreign languages.’
    • ‘My life has been spent pretty equally between the two countries, and I flatter myself I speak both languages without any foreign accent.’
    • ‘Even when they are obliged to live abroad for years they refuse either to accustom themselves to foreign food or to learn foreign languages.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The extra characters represent characters from foreign languages and special symbols for simple pictures.’
    • ‘Some third grade children study at special hagwons in order to get into high schools specializing in foreign languages or science.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘They study mythology, gardening, cooking, foreign languages, history, botany and physics.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Nearly all books are in Chinese, except in Shanghai and Beijing, where foreign language books are also available.’
    • ‘The problem arises is that you character talks gibberish and it sounds like some foreign space language.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And today he's a foreign language major at the University of Central Florida.’
    • ‘He noted for some foreign languages there are too few students signed up to offer the course at an individual high school.’
    • ‘My father was a foreign language major at Yenching University.’
    • ‘The picture of foreign languages was less clear with French and German seeing significant falls in interest but more students taking up Spanish.’
    • ‘But even cutting subjects like music, art and foreign languages has a direct impact on the core subjects.’
    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’
      • ‘The bad news didn't end with the foreign policy.’
      • ‘We've got a great new younger generation of foreign correspondents.’
      • ‘No. Are they offering us a new foreign policy or another way of dealing with dictators and terrorists?’
      • ‘But it was only recently, after the end of the Cold War, that we began letting the vice squad run foreign policy.’
      • ‘You gave the president kind of a mixed grade on 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.’
      • ‘Lawyers and those dealing with foreign affairs have a smooth week ahead.’
      • ‘Len Downey, will this tragedy change the way you deploy your foreign correspondents and the kind of risks that they will take?’
      • ‘I think that, ultimately though, that's there a genuine difference as to how we operate our foreign policy.’
      • ‘A treaty dealt with frontier issues and declared that Tibet was to have no dealings with foreign powers without Britain's consent.’
      • ‘He was trying to bring the announcement, the pronunciation of honesty and truth to American and world foreign policy.’
      • ‘And I love foreign policy, because of the adventure and because of the stakes.’
      • ‘A lot of political operatives and pollsters will tell you this presidential election will hinge on foreign policy.’
      • ‘To truly understand America's foreign policy during the past 12 years, one must look at more than wars.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If blame were to be justly apportioned, it would have to extend into the distant past of American foreign policy formation.’
      • ‘To listen to his high-level critics, one might think that no American president had ever proposed an interventionist foreign policy before.’
      • ‘Well, I don't take polls in politics now, so I certainly wouldn't be taking polls in foreign policy.’
      • ‘Taubman recounts all of his subject's most significant dealings, both in terms of foreign and domestic policy.’
    2. 1.2 Of or belonging to another district or area.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But the society is regaining its vigor, with relatively safe areas attracting 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.’
      • ‘The explosions occurred simultaneously late last night among areas popular with foreign tourists.’
      • ‘One foreign family in the area had actively participated in the festivities since they arrived last year.’
      • ‘A central pot to pay for healthcare for foreign visitors had been distributed to local health services on the basis of historic payments.’
      • ‘Then I did distribution for foreign films in Japan, mainly gay films.’
      • ‘The report also said that the lack of broadband lines outside large urban areas was hampering foreign investment in the regions.’
      • ‘The park has also meant a significant tourism boost to the West Kildare area with Irish and foreign tourists coming in increasing numbers.’
      • ‘The central business district is a diverse area of retail, financial and foreign companies.’
      • ‘Resistance fighters have frequently targeted foreign planes in the area, which is an insurgent stronghold.’
      • ‘But that has still left many gray areas, especially for foreign investors seeking joint venture partners.’
      • ‘The regency's plan to fight the move has gained support from 200 industrial firms in the area that employ foreign workers.’
      • ‘Consider partnering with foreign distributors or sales reps, for example.’
      • ‘Capital hedging has been identified as one of the biggest areas of concern by foreign bankers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Other models may have been sold in Canada if a retailer bought them from foreign distributors.’
      • ‘Yet these are precisely the areas where foreign students make the biggest contribution to American society.’
      • ‘The estate is now back to its original 80,000 acres - the largest area owned by a foreign citizen in the United Kingdom.’
    3. 1.3 Coming or introduced from outside.
      ‘the quotation is a foreign element imported into the work’
      • ‘This label encompasses processes such as deleting a gene from or introducing a foreign gene into a plant's DNA.’
      • ‘The result is a wonderful collage of elements, both foreign and indigenous to the peninsula.’
      • ‘Now introduce two types of foreign elements - lets say bacteria and viruses.’
      • ‘She struggled in vain against the darkness surrounding her, but the pain of a foreign element inside her prevented it.’
      • ‘The process was helped, after the mid-sixteenth century, by the arrival of a new foreign element.’
      • ‘The earpiece of the Symbolic Order introduces something foreign into his head - it is language.’
      • ‘I carefully surveyed the area for footprints, foreign items and so on, then photographed the scene.’
      • ‘Lawyers protested that it would expose clients to unreasonable pressure, and introduce a foreign element into the court.’
      • ‘The body possesses an innate tendency to reject and destroy any foreign material introduced into it.’
      • ‘And that means food without all the weird foreign genes running around in it.’
      • ‘Electroporation is a common method to introduce foreign molecules into cells, but its molecular basis is poorly understood.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    4. 1.4 (of a law or restriction) outside the local jurisdiction.
      • ‘In Part 4 the bill adds all the evidential rules relating to foreign judgments and foreign laws.’
      • ‘A judge's job is to interpret the law, not make it up by pouring foreign law into our constitutional jurisprudence.’
      • ‘Now, I've read the whole text of the speech, which is mostly justifying his bill to bar courts from citing foreign law.’
      • ‘Why are we using foreign law: to enhance the legitimacy of our decisions within the U.S. or to the rest of the world?’
      • ‘If judges begin citing foreign law as non-mandatory, how long will it be before they begin using it to decide cases?’
      • ‘It is not unheard of to have an action tried in a jurisdiction which applies foreign law.’
      • ‘Elsewhere in his testimony, Roberts criticized the importation of foreign law.’
      • ‘The foreign laws seem a perfectly reasonable expression of sovereignty, and ones that we should respect.’
      • ‘It is a matter of perhaps not daily, but certainly regular occurrence that experts on foreign law are called in such situations.’
      • ‘I would say, as a general matter, that there are a couple of things that cause concern on my part about the use of foreign law as precedent.’
      • ‘But, as with his reference to changes in domestic law, his survey of foreign law is highly selective.’
      • ‘It is clear that in the absence of proof of a foreign law our courts will apply the lex fori, the law of Ontario.’
      • ‘I'd be very interested to hear from proponents of citing or relying on foreign law about the answers to these questions.’
      • ‘Those who draw on foreign laws and precedents tend to use them selectively, when it suits their purposes.’
      • ‘These would be cases in which foreign law was incorporated into American law.’
      • ‘To be sure, the analogy between foreign law as authority and the Bible as authority isn't perfect.’
      • ‘The foreign law is treated as a question of fact.’
      • ‘In my view, the reliance of foreign law and practice is a symptom of the Court's problem, not the problem itself.’
      • ‘Here's what Breyer said, in the course of justifying the practice of citing foreign law.’
      • ‘He is not authorised to receive any evidence of foreign law, unless such evidence is relevant to the question whether the offence is one of a political character.’
  • 2Strange and unfamiliar.

    ‘I suppose this all feels pretty foreign to you’
    • ‘It was so strange and foreign a concept that the very thought scared me more than anything in my entire period of life.’
    • ‘The deeply forgotten greets us as foreign but also makes strange the familiar.’
    • ‘That was the only word that could describe it, weird, or strange, or unknown, foreign.’
    • ‘Yet, aren't new influences that seem foreign and unfamiliar also agents of positive change?’
    • ‘She stared at his hand as if it were some strange foreign object and reluctantly shook it.’
    • ‘It's perfectly natural that it would feel kinda weird and foreign the first time.’
    • ‘All the plants were strange and unfamiliar, the steamy smells equally foreign.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It isn't an unpleasant sensation, there is no pain to it, but it is so strange and foreign it causes me brief alarm.’
    • ‘The sunlight seemed strange, foreign somehow, as if filtered through a glass.’
    • ‘Your flashy world of moving pictures and gender equality is strange and foreign to me.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They stand out like the Harbour Bridge in their getups and habits, which are foreign to most Aussies.’
    • ‘It felt too strange, too foreign, like she'd forsaken all of her unknown past.’
    • ‘I got out of this strange and foreign bed to wander into the glass tiled halls filled with black marble.’
    • ‘Already, the traditional winter is something foreign to many British children.’
    • ‘It is regarded as strange and intrinsically foreign.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was a tough country and the animals and plants in this country were totally foreign to them.’
    • ‘As the metal slices through my wrist, I can only feel the strange, foreign feeling of dizziness.’
    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 and our country’
      • ‘Okay, if politicking based on one's beliefs is foreign to Inuit, why is he doing it right now?’
      • ‘The idea of willing mutual submission in love is largely foreign to our minds.’
      • ‘Some commentators believe soccer is fundamentally foreign to the American psyche and will never catch on.’
      • ‘To deprive someone of their liberty without telling them the charge or the evidence is completely foreign to our system of justice.’
      • ‘Any use that is not utterly foreign to its character as a motor vehicle is, I consider, covered by the words.’
      • ‘We see wood take forms that are completely foreign to it, like a chair that's made with spindles and dowels.’
      • ‘Thereafter, when Yohanan came to her, Miriam expressed astonishment at behavior so foreign to his character.’
      • ‘As a matter of style, Buckland and Newton work in a tradition largely foreign to North America.’
      • ‘They have tried to persuade society to reject practices that are foreign to Islam.’
      • ‘The so-called New Zealand way of life is becoming increasingly foreign to a growing number.’
      • ‘They played with a clarity of intention foreign to the home side, an economical set of ideas that were always on the money.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Cowardice is a concept foreign to your very being, and by nature you are something of an adventurer.’
      irrelevant, not pertinent, inappropriate, inapposite, extraneous, unrelated, unconnected
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Origin

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.

Pronunciation

foreign

/ˈfôrən//ˈfɔrən/