Legal Definition and Related Resources of Foreign

Meaning of Foreign

Belonging to another nation , country or jurisdiction .

Foreign Alternative Definition

That which belongs to another country; that which is strange. 1 Pet. (U. S.) 343. Every nation is foreign to all the rest; and the several states of the American Union are foreign to each other with respect to their municipal laws. 2 Wash. C. C. (U. S.) 282; 4 Conn. 517; 6 Conn. 480; 2 Wend. (N. Y.) 411; 1 Dall. (Pa.) 458, 463; 6 Bin. (Pa.) 321; 12 Serg. & R. (Pa.) 203; 2 Hill (S. C.) 319; 1 D. Chip. (Vt.) 303; 7 T. B. Mon. (Ky.) 585; 5 Leigh (Va.) 471; 3 Pick. (Mass.) 293. And in respect to the distinction between foreign and inland bills of exchange. 112 U. S. 696; 41 Me. 302; 102 Mass. 141; 49 N. Y. 269. But the reciprocal relations between the national government and the several states composing the United States are not considered as foreign, but domestic. 5 Pet. (U. S.) 398; 6 Pet. (U. S.) 317; 9 Pet. (U. S.) 607; 4 Cranch (U. S.) 384; 4 Gill & J. (Md.) 1, 63. Foreign Administrator. An administrator appointed in a state other than that in which the decedent resided. Lee, Admn. Foreign Answer. An answer not triable in the county where it is made. St. 15 Hen. VI. c. 5; Blount. Foreign Apposer. An ofl5cer in the exchequer who examines the sheriff’s estreats, comparing them with the records, and apposeth (interrogates) the sheriff what he says to each particular sum therein. 4 Inst. 107; Blount; Cowell, “Foreigne.” The word is written “opposer,” “opposeth,” by Lord Coke; and this signification corresponds very well to the meaning given by Blount, of examiner (interrogator) of the sheriff’s accounts. Foreign Assignment. An assignment made in a foreign country, or in another state. 2 Kent, Comm. 405 et seq. Foreign Attachment. A process by virtue of which the property of an absent debtor is seized for the purpose of compelling an appearance, and, in default of that, to pay the claim of the plaintiff. See “Attachment.” Foreign Bill of Exchange. A bill of exchange drawn in one state or country, and payable in another. N. Y. Neg. Inst. Law, § 213. Foreigji Coins. Coins issued by the authority of a foreign government. There were several acts of congress passed which rendered certain foreign gold and silver coins a legal tender in payment of debts upon certain prescribed conditions as to fineness and weight. In making a report in 1854 on this subject, the late director of the mint,v Mr. Snowden, suggested that there was no propriety or necessity for legalizing the circulation of the coins of other countries, and that in no other nation, except in the case of some colonies, was this mixture of currencies admitted by law, either on the score of courtesy or convenience; and he recommended that if the laws which legalize foreign coins should be repealed, it would be proper to require an annual assay report upon the weight and fineness of such foreign coins as frequently reach our shores, with a view to settle and determine their marketable value. Ex. Doc. No. 68, 33d Cong., 1st Sess. This suggesFOREIGN tion was subsequently repeated, and finally led to the passage of the act of February 21, 1857 (11 U. S. Stat, at Large, 163), the third section of which is as follows: “That all former acts authorizing the currency of foreign gold or silver coins, and declaring the same a legal tender in payment for debts, are repealed; but it shall be the duty of the director of the mint to cause assays to be made from time to time of such foreign coins as may be known to our commerce, to determine their average weight, fineness, and value, and to embrace in his annual report a statement of the results thereof.” Foreign Commerce. Commerce or trade between the United States and foreign countries. Foreign Corporation. A corporation created by or under the laws of another state, government, or country. 2 Rev. St. N. Y. p. 375, § 15. Foreign County, Another county. It may be in the same kingdom, it will still be foreign. See Blount, “Foreign.” Foreign Creditor. One who resides in a different state or country from the debtor. Foreign Divorce. A divorce granted in a state or country other than that in which one of the parties is domiciled. A divorce granted in a state or country other than that in which its validity is called in question. Foreign Domicile. A domicile gained in a foreign country. Foreign Enlistment Act. St. 59 Geo. III c. 69, for preventing British citizens from enlisting as sailors or soldiers in the service of a foreign power. Wharton; 4 Steph. Comm. 226. Foreign Exchange. Exchange between foreign states or countries. Foreign Judgment. The judgment of a foreign tribunal. The various states of the United States are in this respect considered as foreign to each other. In Louisiana it has been decided that a judgment rendered by a Spanish tribunal under the former government of that state is not a foreign judgment. 4 Mart. (La.) 301, 310. Foreign Jury. A jury obtained from a county other than that in which issue was joined. Foreign Laws. The laws of a foreign country. Foreign IVIatter. Matter which must be tried in another county. Blount. Matter done or to be tried in another county. Cowell. Foreign Plea. See “Plea.” Foreign Port. A port or place which is wholly without the United States. 19 Johns. (N. Y.) 375; 2 Gall. (U. S.) 4, 7; 1 Brock. (U. S.) 235. A port without the jurisdiction of the court. 1 Dods. Adm. 201; 4 C. Rob. Adm. 1; 1 W. Rob. Adm. 29; 6 Exch. 886; 1 Blatchf. & H. (U. S.) 66, 71. Practically, the definition has become, for most purposes of maritime law, a port at such distance as to make communication with the owners of the ship very inconvenient or almost impossible. See 1 Pars. Mar. Law, 512, note. Foreign Service. In feudal law. That whereby a mesne lord held of another, without the compass of his own fee, or that which the tenant performed either to his own lord or to the lord paramount out of the fee. Kitch. Cts. 299. Foreign service seems also to be used for knight’s service, or escuage iincertain. Jacob. Foreign Vessel. A vessel owned by residents in, or sailing under the flag of, a foreign nation. Foreign Voyage, A voyage whose termination is within a foreign country. 3 Kent, Comm. 177, note. The length of the voyage has no effect in determining its character, but only the place of destination. 1 Story (U. S.) 1; 3 Sumn. (U. S.) 342; 2 Bost. Law Rep. 146; 2 Wall. C. C. (U. S.) 264; 1 Pars. Mar. Law, 31.

Synonyms of Foreign


  • adventicius
  • alien
  • attached to another jurisdiction
  • belonging to another country
  • detached
  • different
  • disconnected
  • dissociated
  • distant
  • extemus
  • extraneous
  • extrinsic
  • independent
  • nonresident
  • not indiginous
  • not native
  • outside
  • peregrine
  • peregrinus
  • remote
  • separate
  • strange
  • subject to another jurisdiction
  • unaffiliated
  • unallied
  • unassociated
  • unconnected
  • unfamiliar
  • unrelated
  • unusual
  • without connection Associated Concepts: foreign bills
  • foreign commerce
  • foreign corporation
  • foreign divorce
  • foreign judgment
  • foreign jurisdiction
  • foreign laws
  • foreign notes
  • foreign patents
  • foreign state

Related Entries of Foreign in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Foreign in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Foreign in Historical Law

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Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Foreign in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

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Mentioned in these terms

Alien, Attache, Autonomy, Branch, Colony, Commerce Clause, Conflict Of Law, Consul, Enemy Alien, Export, F.g.a., Foreign Judgment, Ignorance Of The Law, Importation, Imports, Indian Treaty, Indian Tribe, Lenizen, Letters Rogatory, , Minimum Contact, Money, , Notary, Operation, Passport, Petition, Register, Relegation, Renvoi, Rogatory Letters, , State, Travellers Check.


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Related topics Foreign in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Foreign is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

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Foreign in the Dictionary of Law consisting of Judicial Definitions and Explanations of Words, Phrases and Maxims

French forain, alien, strange: Latin foras, out of doors, abroad. That which belongs or pertains to another country, nation, or sovereignty; or to another State, or division of a State- See Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, 5 Pet. *56 (1881).

Note: This legal definition of Foreign in the Dictionary of Law (English and American Jurisprudence) is from 1893.


See Also

  • Law Dictionaries.
  • ethical foreign policy.

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