June 03, 2012
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 when Tom held up the other di'mond he looked sorrier than ever. Land! he was thinking how he would 'a' skipped out and been rich and independent in a foreign land if he'd only had the luck to guess what the screwdriver was in the carpet-bag for." (Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)
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.
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