fosterage

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

foster +‎ -age

Noun[edit]

fosterage (countable and uncountable, plural fosterages)

  1. The act of fostering another's child as if it were one's own.
    • 1614, Walter Raleigh, The Historie of the World, London: Walter Burre, Part 1, Book 5, Chapter 6, §3, pp. 622-623,[1]
      [] it was worthy of extraordinary note, how that upstart family of the Kings of Pergamus had raised it selfe to marvellous greatnesse, in very short space, from the condition of meere slavery: whereof a principall cause was, the brotherly love maintained by them, with singular commendation of their pietie. Neither was Philip ignorant of these examples; but is said to have propounded the last of them, to his owne children, as a patterne for them to imitate. Certainely hee had reason so to doe: not more in regard of the benefit which his enemies reaped by their concord, than in remembrance of the tender fosterage, wherewith King Antigonus his Tutor had faithfully cherished him in his minoritie.
    • 1775, Samuel Johnson, A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland, “Castle of Col,”[2]
      There still remains in the Islands, though it is passing fast away, the custom of fosterage. A Laird, a man of wealth and eminence, sends his child, either male or female, to a tacksman, or tenant, to be fostered.
    • 1818, Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, Letter 2,[3]
      A youth passed in solitude, my best years spent under your gentle and feminine fosterage, has so refined the groundwork of my character, that I cannot overcome an intense distaste to the usual brutality exercised on board ship []
  2. The act of caring for another human being or animal.
    • 1660, Robert May, The Accomplisht Cook, London: Obadiah Blagrave, 5th edition, 1685,[4]
      I do acknowledg my self not to be a little beholding to the Italian and Spanish Treatises; though without my fosterage, and bringing up under the Generosities and Bounties of my Noble Patrons and Masters, I could never have arrived to this Experience.
    • 1797, Jeremiah Fitzpatrick, Suggestions on the Slave Trade: For the Consideration of the Legislature of Great Britain, London: John Stockdale, p. 24,[5]
      [] the wisdom and prudence of penal-laws become the more necessary in the colonies to prevent the ill treatment of those friendless captives, brought solely for colonial interests into those states; and also for laws not only granting them immediate fosterage and protection, but holding out to them, after due and faithful services, profits and interests in those very states.
    • 1891, C. Lloyd Morgan, Animal Life and Intelligence, Boston: Ginn, Chapter 6, p. 219,[6]
      In those animals in which the system of fosterage and protection has not been developed a great number of fertilized ova are produced, only a few of which come to maturity.
  3. The condition of being the foster child.
    • 1916, James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Chapter 2,[7]
      He had not gone one step nearer the lives he had sought to approach nor bridged the restless shame and rancour that had divided him from mother and brother and sister. He felt that he was hardly of the one blood with them but stood to them rather in the mystical kinship of fosterage, fosterchild and fosterbrother.
  4. The act of promoting or encouraging something.
    • 1828, Walter Colton, Remarks on Duelling, New York: Leavitt, pp. 39-40,[8]
      The effect of a duelling spirit, on the heart that nourishes it, is of a most deplorable character. This self-vindicating spirit, gradually destroys a man’s confidence in the integrity, intelligence, and enlightened impartiality of those around him. [] he will heed as little the lofty generous enterprises that kindle upon the moral world, as a caverned bear the luminous expanse of the glittering heaven. The spirit which he fosters has this tendency, and if the fosterage is persevered in, will have this effect.
    • 1945, United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Insuring Proper Land Use, Columbia Basin Joint Investigations, Problem 3, Chapter 3, p. 13,[9]
      Markets are not developed overnight and basic to the success of any marketing program is fosterage of a land use program that assures a permanent agriculture.

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