June 03, 2017
foreign (adjective)
\FOR-in\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : located outside a place or country and especially outside one's own country2 : born in, belonging to, or characteristic of a place or country other than the one under consideration3 : related to or dealing with other nations
How do you use it?
"And the birds who flew to other countries in the winter told the animals in foreign lands of the wonderful doctor of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh, who could understand their talk and help them in their troubles." (Hugh Lofting, _The Story of Dr. Doolittle_)
Are you a word wiz?

Our word "foreign" traces back to the Latin word "foris." What do you think "foris" means?

Here's the inside scoop: "foris" means "outside." Reread the first definition -- the original definition of "foreign" -- and you'll see that the concept of outside has always been integral to the meaning of "foreign." Since its first use in the 1200s, when it described places or countries outside of one's own, the meaning of "foreign" has broadened. You might hear of foreign art or mail or matter; a foreign policy, a foreign object, or a foreign thought. Don't let "foreign" be foreign to your vocabulary and you'll be sure to remember how to use it.
Archive RSS Feed