Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for March 31, 2021 is:

foist • FOIST  • verb

1 a : to introduce or insert surreptitiously or without warrant

b : to force another to accept especially by stealth or deceit

2 : to pass off as genuine or worthy


“I probably should have apologized for bringing her into this house and foisting my family upon her, burdening her with her own role in our domestic drama.” — Ani Katz, A Good Man, 2020

“Then I went off to college and I had to read more novels. It would seem that ‘The Great Gatsby‘ by F. Scott Fitzgerald, was foisted on me, but upon reflection, I am glad it was.” — Michael Zabrodsky, The Post-Journal (Jamestown, New York), 28 Jan. 2021

Did you know?

An early sense of the word foist, now obsolete, referred to palming a phony die and secretly introducing it into a game at an opportune time. The action involved in this cheating tactic reflects the etymology of foist. The word is believed to derive from the obsolete Dutch verb vuisten, meaning “to take into one’s hand.” Vuisten in turn comes from vuyst, the Middle Dutch word for “fist,” which itself is distantly related to the Old English ancestor of fist. By the late 16th century, foist was being used in English to mean “to insert surreptitiously,” and it quickly acquired the meaning “to force another to accept by stealth or deceit.”

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