- Foist is defined as to pass something off as valuable when it is not, or to trick someone into having or doing something they don't want.
- An example of foist is to advertise a car as in perfect condition when it has bad brakes; to foist the car off on the buyer.
- An example of foist is to get an approval by a committee on an agreement in which changes have been secretly made without the knowledge of the committee members; to foist the approval off on the committee
- to put in slyly or surreptitiously, as a clause into a contract
- to get (a thing) accepted, sold, etc. by fraud, deception, etc.; palm off: with on or upon
Origin: probably ; from dialect, dialectal Dutch vuisten, to hold inch(es) the hand; hence, inch(es) dicing, to hide or palm inch(es) the hand ; from vuist, a fist, akin to fist
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
transitive verb foist·ed, foist·ing, foists
- To pass off as genuine, valuable, or worthy: “I can usually tell whether a poet . . . is foisting off on us what he'd like to think is pure invention” (J.D. Salinger).
- To impose (something or someone unwanted) upon another by coercion or trickery: They had extra work foisted on them because they couldn't say no to the boss.
- To insert fraudulently or deceitfully: foisted unfair provisions into the contract.
Origin: Probably Dutch dialectal vuisten, to take in hand, from Middle Dutch, from vuist, fist; see penkwe in Indo-European roots.