Definition of foster in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfôstər/
Pronunciation: /ˈfästər/


[with object]
1Encourage or promote the development of (something, typically something regarded as good): the teacher’s task is to foster learning
More example sentences
  • The sports will preferably offer participation in a team-based environment that encourages and fosters the development of esprit de corps.
  • We are becoming increasingly aware of this explosion of scholarship, and we want to do everything in our power to encourage and foster this development.
  • We believe that the Animal Enterprise Act must be updated to ensure that individuals and companies are protected and drug development is fostered.
encourage, promote, further, stimulate, advance, forward, cultivate, nurture, strengthen, enrich;
help, aid, abet, assist, contribute to, support, back, be a patron of
1.1Develop (a feeling or idea) in oneself: appropriate praise helps a child foster a sense of self-worth
More example sentences
  • Since the students and other volunteers accomplish most of the work, a sense of community pride is fostered.
  • The advertisements kids see around the holidays can help foster unrealistic expectations and lead to disappointment.
  • Take a big does of Venus, goddess of beauty and love, and use her energy to foster a healthy self-esteem and noble sense of self-worth.
2Bring up (a child that is not one’s own by birth).
Example sentences
  • As someone who has successfully fostered a child who is now an adult, Pat Whelen said she would definitely recommend it.
  • Each year a group of local people who have been to Russia and now have fostered children run a dinner dance in Tubbercurry.
  • What is most noteworthy about them is that they are indistinguishable from those who fostered children in the context of informal circulation.
bring up, rear, raise, care for, take care of, look after, nurture, provide for;
mother, parent


1Denoting someone that has a specified family connection through fostering rather than birth: foster parent foster child
More example sentences
  • To move him again would be to break his new attachments now formed to the foster family, particularly the foster mother who has become a primary figure to him.
  • In the northern region of Ghana, almost every family has a foster child who is a relative.
  • In some cases, the IRS might, on one part of a tax return, view a child of a nonlegal parent as a foster child or dependent, but might not on another.
1.1Involving or concerned with fostering a child: foster care foster home
More example sentences
  • Studies conducted in prisons have shown that over 50 percent of the inmates had spent some point of their life in the foster care or in the juvenile system.
  • Nor do they want to antagonize foundation officials, who have placed a limit of 50 on the number of cats that can be in the foster care program at any one time.
  • Call your state department of foster care and lend a hand.



Pronunciation: /ˈfästərij/
Example sentences
  • Deputy Browne also questioned the change in the payments regarding fosterage of children, which now means that the Orphan's Allowance is included in the Foster Care Payment.
  • Their presence in non-natal households reflects the ubiquity of fosterage, adoption, apprenticeship, and child domestic labor - diverse but overlapping practices I refer to collectively as child circulation.
  • In turn, rural women's willingness to receive the ‘children of Providence’ may be explained not only by the wage they earned but also by their cultural familiarity with wet nursing and fosterage.


Example sentences
  • Some of the animals may be nervous or have behavioural problems but we work hard to ensure only suitable pets are placed with fosterers, who receive as much support from us as possible.
  • We don't pay fosterers, but we do pay for food and any vet care.
  • Under the scheme, animals are offered temporary homes with a network of specially selected fosterers in the area, or occasionally at RSPCA animal homes, until the women or families relocate from the refuge.


Old English fōstrian 'feed, nourish,' from fōster 'food, nourishment,' of Germanic origin; related to food. The sense 'bring up another's (originally also one's own) child' dates from Middle English.

  • food from Old English:

    Recorded since the beginning of the 11th century, food is related to fodder (Old English) and foster (Old English), originally found in the sense ‘feed, nourish’. It can refer to mental as well as physical nourishment—the expression food for thought to indicate something that deserves serious consideration has been in use since the early 19th century. Cannon fodder for soldiers regarded as expendable dates from the First World War.

Words that rhyme with foster

Costa, coster, defroster, Gloucester, impostor, paternoster, roster

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: fos·ter

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