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.

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. Kelvin Liu:

    We value diversity and strive to foster a workplace that offers inclusivity for everyone, there is no place in our company or industry, or any industry, for sexual misconduct or harassment of any kind.

  2. Brooke Jenkins:

    The alleged battery of an unhoused member of our community is completely unacceptable. Mr. Gwin will face appropriate consequences for his actions, likewise, the vandalism at Foster Gwin gallery is also completely unacceptable and must stop – two wrongs do not make a right.

  3. Brandy Welch:

    Faith is a part of our family life, so it is hurtful and insulting to us that Miracle Hill's religious view of what a family must look like deprives foster children of a nurturing, supportive home.

  4. Laura Ciervo:

    Many of the packages came with notes, one read' I follow Erin Foster and my sister has downs. Thank you for your heart to teach and love all those kids.' That one was really special.

  5. Kenneth Shults:

    Our family has always owned and used firearms, no foster parent should have to forfeit their constitutional rights in order to be a foster parent.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Foster

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"Foster." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 7 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Foster>.

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    cause to spread or flush or flood through, over, or across
    • A. monish
    • B. descant
    • C. suffuse
    • D. abet

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