Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Offensive to the senses; revolting.
  • adjective Having a bad odor or taste.
  • adjective Rotten or putrid.
  • adjective Containing dirt, impurities, or other foreign matter;
  • adjective Clogged or bestrewn with unwanted material.
  • adjective Overgrown or encrusted with weeds, barnacles, or other organisms. Used of a ship's bottom.
  • adjective Entangled or enwrapped.
  • adjective Morally detestable; wicked.
  • adjective Vulgar or obscene.
  • adjective Violating accepted standards or rules; dishonorable.
  • adjective Very disagreeable or displeasing; horrid.
  • adjective Inclement or unfavorable.
  • adjective Irritable or upset.
  • adjective Sports Contrary to the rules of a game or sport.
  • adjective Baseball Outside the foul lines.
  • adjective Marked with editorial changes or corrections.
  • adjective Archaic Ugly; unattractive.
  • noun Sports An infraction or a violation of the rules of play.
  • noun Baseball A foul ball.
  • noun An entanglement or a collision.
  • noun An instance of clogging or obstructing.
  • noun A foul copy of a document.
  • adverb In a foul manner.
  • intransitive verb To make dirty or foul; pollute. synonym: contaminate.
  • intransitive verb To bring into dishonor; besmirch.
  • intransitive verb To clog or obstruct.
  • intransitive verb To entangle or catch (a rope, for example).
  • intransitive verb To encrust (a ship's hull) with foreign matter, such as barnacles.
  • intransitive verb Sports To commit a foul against.
  • intransitive verb Baseball To hit (a ball) outside the foul lines.
  • intransitive verb To become foul.
  • intransitive verb Sports To commit a foul.
  • intransitive verb Baseball To hit a ball outside the foul lines.
  • intransitive verb To become entangled or twisted.
  • intransitive verb To become clogged or obstructed.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An obsolete spelling of fowl.
  • To make foul, in any sense; befoul.
  • Nautical, to entangle.
  • To become foul or dirty: as, a gun. fouls from long use.
  • Nautical, to come into collision, as two boats; become entangled or clogged: as, the rope fouled; the block fouled.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English fūl; see pū̆- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old English fūl ("foul, unclean, impure, vile, corrupt, rotten, guilty"), from Proto-Germanic *fūlaz (“foul, rotten”), from Proto-Indo-European *pū- (“to rot”). Cognate with Dutch vuil ("foul"), German faul ("foul"), Swedish ful ("foul"), Albanian fëlliq ("filth,dirt"), Latin puter ("rotten"). More at putrid.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English fūlian.

Examples

Comments

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  • Foul play was suspected by the detective (or by the referee/umpire).

    December 21, 2007