for·eign (fôrĭn, fŏr-)
a. Located away from one's native country: on business in a foreign city.
b. Of, characteristic of, or from a place or country other than the one being considered: a foreign custom.
c. Conducted or involved with other nations or governments; not domestic: foreign trade.
2. Situated in an abnormal or improper place in the body and typically introduced from outside: a foreign object in the eye.
3. Not natural; alien: Jealousy is foreign to her nature.
4. Not germane; irrelevant.
5. Subject to the jurisdiction of another political unit.
[Middle English forein, from Old French forain, from Late Latin forānus, on the outside, from Latin forās, outside; see dhwer- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.