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Etymology 1[edit]

Probably from archaic Dutch vuisten (to take into one’s hand), from Middle Dutch vuysten, from vuyst (fist); akin to Old English fyst (fist).


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /fɔɪst/
  • (file)


foist (third-person singular simple present foists, present participle foisting, simple past and past participle foisted)

  1. (transitive) To introduce or insert surreptitiously or without warrant.
  2. (transitive) To force another to accept especially by stealth or deceit.
  3. (transitive) To pass off as genuine or worthy.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Jonathan Spivak — foist costly and valueless products on the public


foist (plural foists)

  1. (historical slang) A thief or pickpocket.
    • 1977, Gãmini Salgãdo, The Elizabethan Underworld, Folio Society 2006, p. 54:
      The foist had lately arrived form the country and was known to be doing a thriving trade in and around Westminster Hall where many country folk and others came to see lawyers.


Etymology 2[edit]

From Old French fuste (stick, boat), from Latin fustis (cudgel).


foist (plural foists)

  1. (obsolete) A light and fast-sailing ship.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Beaumont and Fletcher to this entry?)

Etymology 3[edit]

From Old French fust (whence also French fût), from Latin fustis.


foist (plural foists)

  1. (obsolete) A cask for wine.
  2. Fustiness; mustiness.
Derived terms[edit]


Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for foist in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)