Relating to nourishment; affording, receiving, or sharing nourishment or nurture; applied to father, mother, child, brother, etc, to indicate that the person so called stands in the relation of parent, child, brother, etc, as regards sustenance and nurture, but not by tie of blood. Foster babe, or child, an infant of child nursed by a woman not its mother, or bred by a man not its father. Foster brother, Foster sister, one who is, or has been, nursed at the same breast, or brought up by the same nurse as another, but is not of the same parentage. Foster dam, one who takes the place of a mother; a nurse. Foster earth, earth by which a plant is nourished, though not its native soil. Foster father, a man who takes the place of a father in caring for a child. Foster land. Land allotted for the maintenance of any one. One's adopted country. Foster lean [foster + AS. Laen a loan See Loan], remuneration fixed for the rearing of a foster child; also, the jointure of a wife. Foster mother, a woman who takes a mother's place in the nurture and care of a child; a nurse. Foster nurse, a nurse; a nourisher. Foster parent, a foster mother or foster father. Foster son, a male foster child.

Origin: AS. Foster, fostor, nourishment. See Foster.

1. To feed; to nourish; to support; to bring up. "Some say that ravens foster forlorn children." (Shak)

2. To cherish; to promote the growth of; to encourage; to sustain and promote; as, to foster genius.

Origin: OE. Fostren, fr. AS. Foster, fostor, food, nourishment, fr. Foda food. 75. See Food.

To be nourished or trained up together.

A forester.

One who, or that which, fosters.

(01 Mar 1998)