Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Scots Physical strength or power.
  • n. Archaic A plentiful harvest; abundance.
  • n. Obsolete Reserves of power; resources.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an abundance, a rich supply of.
  • n. strength, power

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Rich harvest; plenty; abundance.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Plenty; abundance.
  • n. Strength; ability.

Etymologies

Middle English foisoun, from Old French foison, from Latin fūsiō, fūsiōn-, a pouring, from fūsus, past participle of fundere, to pour; see gheu- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French foison (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I recorded the date of my marriage and the conception of my wife and the birth of my daughter; and from her horoscope I find that her name is conjoined with that of her cousin; 401 and there are damsels in foison for our lord the Sultan.’

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • And it is almost needless to say that in both _subjects_ for novel treatment "foison," as both French and

    A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1 From the Beginning to 1800

  • The others came back in the eventide, bearing with them foison of blue hare-bells, and telling joyously how they had found them anigh the coppice edge in such a place: and thereafter they were merry, and sang and talked the evening away, and showed

    The Water of the Wondrous Isles

  • Paddington came in, too, drawling and lisping and twiddling his hair; so did Champignac, and his chef — everybody with foison of compliments and pretty speeches — plaguing poor me, who longed to be rid of them, and was thinking every moment of the time of mon pauvre prisonnier.

    Vanity Fair

  •     Swells to the warm west-wind, in gales of foison alighting;

    Poems and Fragments

  • Juno descends in a chariot from the roof over the theatre to converse with Iris and Ceres; they bring with them the bounty and foison of a generous earth to help celebrate.

    Shakespeare

  • And as they had dreamed, so it came to passe: for being awakened out of their sleepe, in came his men with so great foison of fish, that the same might haue sufficed a great armie of men, for the vittelling of them at that season.

    Chronicles (1 of 6): The Historie of England (6 of 8) The Sixt Booke of the Historie of England

  • Latinus reigns you shall not [262-294] lack foison of rich land nor

    The Aeneid of Virgil

  • There is a region Greeks name Hesperia, an ancient land, mighty in arms and foison of the clod; Oenotrian men dwell therein; now rumour is that

    The Aeneid of Virgil

  • Greeks name Hesperia, an ancient land, mighty in arms and foison of the clod; Oenotrian men dwelt therein; now rumour is that a younger race from their captain's name have called it Italy.

    The Aeneid of Virgil

Comments

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  • A very bountiful harvest.

    January 31, 2008

  • "Thither the extremely large wains bring foison of the fields ..."
    Joyce, Ulysses, 12

    January 13, 2007