What does Foster mean?

Definitions for Foster
ˈfɔ stər, ˈfɒs tərfos·ter

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Foster.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Foster, Stephen Foster, Stephen Collins Fosteradjective

    United States songwriter whose songs embody the sentiment of the South before the American Civil War (1826-1864)

  2. foster, surrogateverb

    providing or receiving nurture or parental care though not related by blood or legal ties

    "foster parent"; "foster child"; "foster home"; "surrogate father"

  3. foster, furtherverb

    promote the growth of

    "Foster our children's well-being and education"

  4. fosterverb

    bring up under fosterage; of children

  5. foster, nurtureverb

    help develop, help grow

    "nurture his talents"


  1. fosternoun

    A forester

  2. fosternoun

    The care given to another; guardianship

  3. fosterverb

    To nurture or bring up offspring; or to provide similar parental care to an unrelated child.

  4. fosterverb

    To cultivate and grow something.

    Our company fosters an appreciation for the arts.

  5. fosterverb

    To nurse or cherish something.

  6. fosteradjective

    Providing parental care to unrelated children.

  7. fosteradjective

    receiving such care

  8. fosteradjective

    Related by such care

  9. Fosternoun

    An English surname, variant of Forster.

  10. Fosternoun

    A male given name transferred from the surname.

  11. Fosternoun

    A town in Rhode Island; named for Rhode Island statesman Theodore Foster.

  12. Fosternoun

    A town in Victoria.

  13. Fosternoun

    A town in Oklahoma.

  14. Fosternoun

    A village in Missouri; named for Ohio governor Charles Foster.

  15. Fosternoun

    A town in Wisconsin.

  16. Fosternoun

    A village in Nebraska; named for George Foster, original owner of town's site.

  17. Etymology: (This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To FOSTERverb

    Etymology: fostrian, Saxon.

    Thy threat’ning colours now wind up,
    And tame the savage spirit of wild war;
    That, like a lion foster’d up at hand,
    It may lie gently at the foot of peace. William Shakespeare, King John.

    Some say that ravens foster forlorn children. William Shakespeare.

    Our kingdom’s earth should not be soil’d
    With that dear blood, which it hath fostered. William Shakespeare, R. II.

    That base wretch,
    Bred on alms, and foster’d with cold dishes,
    With scraps o’ th’ court. William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

    Fostering has always been a stronger alliance than blood. John Davies, on Ireland.

    No more let Ireland brag her harmless nation
    Fosters no venom, since that Scots plantation. John Cleveland.

    The son of Mulciber,
    Found in the fire, and foster’d in the plains,
    A shepherd and a king at once he reigns. John Dryden, Æn. b. vii.

    A prince of great courage and beauty, but fostered up in blood by his naughty father. Philip Sidney, b. ii.

    Ye fostering breezes, blow;
    Ye softening dews, ye tender showers descend. James Thomson.


  1. foster

    Foster generally means to encourage or promote development or growth. This can refer to a range of contexts, such as fostering a child, meaning to take in and raise a child who is not one's own, nurturing a child's development, or fostering feelings or ideas, encouraging those sentiments or thoughts to grow and evolve. It essentially signifies support, care, and encouragement provided for growth.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Fosterverb

    to feed; to nourish; to support; to bring up

  2. Fosterverb

    to cherish; to promote the growth of; to encourage; to sustain and promote; as, to foster genius

  3. Fosterverb

    to be nourished or trained up together

  4. Fosterverb

    relating to nourishment; affording, receiving, or sharing nourishment or nurture; -- applied to father, mother, child, brother, etc., to indicate that the person so called stands in the relation of parent, child, brother, etc., as regards sustenance and nurture, but not by tie of blood

  5. Fosternoun

    a forester

  6. Fosternoun

    one who, or that which, fosters

  7. Etymology: [OE. fostren, fr. AS. fster, fstor, food, nourishment, fr. fda food. 75. See Food.]


  1. Foster

    Foster is a town in Providence County, Rhode Island, in the United States. The population was 4,606 at the 2010 census.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Foster

    fos′tėr, v.t. to bring up or nurse: to encourage.—ns. Fos′terāge, the act of fostering or nursing; Fos′ter-broth′er, a male child, fostered or brought up with another of different parents; Fos′ter-child, a child nursed or brought up by one who is not its parent; Fos′ter-daugh′ter; Fos′terer; Fos′ter-fa′ther, one who brings up a child in place of its father; Fos′terling, a foster-child; Fos′ter-moth′er, one who suckles a child not her own; Fos′ter-nurse (Shak.), a nurse; Fos′ter-par′ent, one who rears a child in the place of its parent; Fos′ter-sis′ter, one brought up as a sister by the same parents, but not a sister by birth; Fos′ter-son, one brought up as a son, though not a son by birth. [A.S. fóstrian, to nourish, fóstor, food.]

  2. Foster

    fos′tėr, n. (Spens.) a forester.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Foster is ranked #99 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Foster surname appeared 227,764 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 77 would have the surname Foster.

    69.6% or 158,638 total occurrences were White.
    23.9% or 54,527 total occurrences were Black.
    2.6% or 6,036 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    2.3% or 5,307 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.8% or 2,004 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    0.5% or 1,253 total occurrences were Asian.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Foster' in Verbs Frequency: #1110

Anagrams for Foster »

  1. softer

  2. fetors

  3. forest

  4. fortes

  5. forset

How to pronounce Foster?

How to say Foster in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Foster in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Foster in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of Foster in a Sentence

  1. Cheyenne Vendt:

    your mother isn't always the lady that gave birth to you that you call your mum, my foster mum has brought me up and in that process I, myself have chosen to look on to her as my mum, and I wouldn't have it any other way

  2. Melania Trump:

    I am proud to announce my new The NFT endeavor, which embodies my passion for the arts, and will support my ongoing commitment to children through my Be Best initiative, through this new technology-based platform, we will provide children computer science skills, including programming and software development, to thrive after they age out of the foster community.

  3. Melissa Buck:

    When you decide to foster and adopt you need a group of people around you that will be able to walk that journey with you, they have supported us every step of the way, and it doesn't end when the judge bangs a gavel and the kids have your last name.

  4. Dee Vaughn:

    COUPLE SEEKS HOMES FOR FOSTER PUPPIES NAMED AFTER TACO BELL MENU ITEMS Fredman brought the dog to KC Pet Project, an animal shelter in Kansas City. The shelter discovered the dog was microchipped and his owner had been looking for him since Monday morning when hedisappeared from a home about a mile away from where he was found, Fox 4 KC reported. Within hours the dog was back home with his family, who is now working hard to find how Max was taken and how he ended up hanging from that box, the shelter wrote on Facebook.Thanks to the quick actions by David and the power of a microchip, we were able to get Max back home safely to his family. Dee Vaughn, Dee Vaughn, said Dee Vaughn got a phone call two hours after Max had disappeared asking if thedog was missing. Dee Vaughn told Fox 4 KCthe dog could not possibly have gone so farin just a couple of hours on his own. Dee Vaughn said Dee Vaughn was horrified when Dee Vaughn saw the photo of Max on the side of an overpass. Literally you could see the imprint around Dee Vaughn neck where they hung Dee Vaughn.

  5. Georgette Mulheir:

    A big part of the solution for Haiti that we're helping the government with, is to develop foster families across the entire country.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Foster

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"Foster." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Foster>.

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