c. 1300, ferren, foran, foreyne, in reference to places, "outside the boundaries of a country;" of persons, "born in another country," from Old French forain "strange, foreign; outer, external, outdoor; remote, out-of-the-way" (12c.), from Medieval Latin foraneus "on the outside, exterior," from Latin foris (adv.) "outside," literally "out of doors," related to foris "a door" (from PIE *dhwor-ans-, suffixed form of root *dhwer- "door, doorway").
English spelling altered 17c., perhaps by influence of reign, sovereign. Sense of "alien to one's nature, not connected with, extraneous" attested late 14c. Meaning "pertaining to another country" (as in foreign policy) is from 1610s. Replaced native fremd. Related: Foreignness. Old English had ælþeodig, ælþeodisc "foreign," a compound of æl- "foreign" + þeod "people."
Old English boren, alternative past participle of beran (see bear (v.)). The -en of the Middle English past participles tended to drop the -e- in some verbs, especially after vowels, -r-, and -l- , hence also slain, etc., Middle English stoln. "In modern use the connexion with bear is no longer felt; the phrase to be born has become virtually an intr. verb" [OED].
It is attested from early 14c. as "possessing from birth the character or quality described" (born poet, born loser, etc.). It is from 1710 as "innate, inherited;" the colloquial expression in (one's) born days "in (one's) lifetime" is by 1742. The distinction of born from borne (q.v.) is 17c.
of Protestant Christians, "regenerated in spirit and character by a 'new birth' in Christ," by 1920, based on John iii.3. Used in figurative (non-religious) sense by 1977.
"inheriting liberty," mid-14c., from free (adj.) + born. Old English had freolic (adj.) "free, free-born; glorious, magnificent, noble; beautiful, charming," which became Middle English freli, "a stock epithet of compliment," but which died out, perhaps as the form merged with that of freely (adv.).