Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Foil

Foil

(foil)
,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Foiled
(foild)
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Foiling
.]
[F.
fouler
to tread or trample under one’s feet, to press, oppress. See
Full
,
Verb.
T.
]
1.
To tread under foot; to trample.
King Richard . . . caused the ensigns of Leopold to be pulled down and
foiled
under foot.
Knoless.
Whom he did all to pieces breake and
foyle
,
In filthy durt, and left so in the loathely soyle.
Spenser.
2.
To render (an effort or attempt) vain or nugatory; to baffle; to outwit; to balk; to frustrate; to defeat.
And by [GREEK] mortal man at length am
foiled
.
Dryden.
Her long locks that
foil
the painter's power.
Byron.
3.
To blunt; to dull; to spoil;
as, to
foil
the scent in chase
.
Addison.

Foil

,
Verb.
T.
[See 6th
File
.]
To defile; to soil.
[Obs.]

Foil

,
Noun.
1.
Failure of success when on the point of attainment; defeat; frustration; miscarriage.
Milton.
Nor e'er was fate so near a
foil
.
Dryden.
2.
A blunt weapon used in fencing, resembling a smallsword in the main, but usually lighter and having a button at the point.
Blunt as the fencer's
foils
, which hit, but hurt not.
Shakespeare
Isocrates contended with a
foil
against Demosthenes with a word.
Mitford.
3.
The track or trail of an animal.
To run a foil
,
to lead astray; to puzzle; – alluding to the habits of some animals of running back over the same track to mislead their pursuers.
Brewer.

Foil

,
Noun.
[OE.
foil
leaf, OF.
foil
,
fuil
,
fueil
,
foille
,
fueille
, F.
feuille
, fr. L.
folium
, pl.
folia
; akin to Gr. [GREEK] , and perh. to E.
blade
. Cf.
Foliage
,
Folio
.]
1.
A leaf or very thin sheet of metal;
as, brass
foil
; tin
foil
; gold
foil
.
2.
(Jewelry)
A thin leaf of sheet copper silvered and burnished, and afterwards coated with transparent colors mixed with isinglass; – employed by jewelers to give color or brilliancy to pastes and inferior stones.
Ure.
3.
Anything that serves by contrast of color or quality to adorn or set off another thing to advantage.
As she a black silk cap on him began
To set, for
foil
of his milk-white to serve.
Sir P. Sidney.
Hector has a
foil
to set him off.
Broome.
4.
A thin coat of tin, with quicksilver, laid on the back of a looking-glass, to cause reflection.
5.
(Arch.)
The space between the cusps in Gothic architecture; a rounded or leaflike ornament, in windows, niches, etc. A group of foils is called trefoil, quatrefoil, quinquefoil, etc., according to the number of arcs of which it is composed.
Foil stone
,
an imitation of a jewel or precious stone.

Webster 1828 Edition


Foil

FOIL

,
Verb.
T.
1.
To frustrate; to defeat; to render vain or nugatory, as an effort or attempt. The enemy attempted to pass the river, but was foiled. He foiled his adversaries.
And by a mortal man at length am foiled.
2.
To blunt; to dull.
When light wing'd toys of feathered cupid foil -
3.
To defeat; to interrupt, or to render imperceptible; as, to foil the scent in a chase.

FOIL

,
Noun.
Defeat; frustration; the failure of success when on the point of being secured; miscarriage.
Death never won a stake with greater toil, nor e'er was fate to near a foil.

FOIL

,
Noun.
A blunt sword, or one that has a button at the end covered with leather; used in fencing.
Isocrates contended with a foil, against Demosthenes with a sword.

FOIL

,
Noun.
[L. folium. Gr.]
1.
A leaf or thin plate of metal used in gilding.
2.
Among jewelers, a thin leaf of metal placed under precious stones, to make them appear transparent, and to give them a particular color, as the stone appears to be of the color of the foil. Hence,
3.
Any thing of another color, or of different qualities, which serves to adorn, or set off another thing to advantage.
Hector has a foil to set him off.
4.
A thin coat of tin, with quicksilver, laid on the back of a locking glass, to cause reflection.

Definition 2022


foil

foil

See also: FOIL

English

Noun

foil (uncountable)

  1. A very thin sheet of metal.
  2. (uncountable) Thin aluminium/aluminum (or, formerly, tin) used for wrapping food.
  3. A thin layer of metal put between a jewel and its setting to make it seem more brilliant.
  4. (figuratively) In literature, theatre/theater, etc., a character who helps emphasize the traits of the main character.
  5. (figuratively) Anything that acts by contrast to emphasise the characteristics of something.
    • Sir Philip Sidney
      As she a black silk cap on him began / To set, for foil of his milk-white to serve.
    • Broome
      Hector has a foil to set him off.
  6. (fencing) A very thin sword with a blunted (or foiled) tip
    • Shakespeare
      Blunt as the fencer's foils, which hit, but hurt not.
    • Mitford
      Socrates contended with a foil against Demosthenes with a sword.
  7. A thin, transparent plastic material on which marks are made and projected for the purposes of presentation. See transparency.
  8. (heraldry) A stylized flower or leaf.
  9. Shortened form of hydrofoil.
  10. Shortened form of aerofoil/airfoil.
Synonyms
Derived terms
Translations

Etymology 2

From Middle English foilen (spoil a scent trail by crossing it), from Old French fouler (tread on, trample), ultimately from Latin fullo (clothes cleaner, fuller).

Verb

foil (third-person singular simple present foils, present participle foiling, simple past and past participle foiled)

  1. To prevent (something) from being accomplished.
  2. To prevent (someone) from accomplishing something.
    • Dryden
      And by mortal man at length am foiled.
    • Byron
      her long locks that foil the painter's power
    • 2011 December 10, David Ornstein, “Arsenal 1 - 0 Everton”, in BBC Sport:
      First, former Toffee Mikel Arteta sent Walcott racing clear but instead of shooting he squared towards Ramsey, who was foiled by Tony Hibbert.
  3. To blunt; to dull; to spoil.
    to foil the scent in hunting
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Addison to this entry?)
  4. (obsolete) To tread underfoot; to trample.
    • Knowles
      King Richard [] caused the ensigns of Leopold to be pulled down and foiled under foot.
    • Spenser
      Whom he did all to pieces breake and foyle, / In filthy durt, and left so in the loathely soyle.
Synonyms
Translations

Noun

foil (plural foils)

  1. Failure when on the point of attainment; defeat; frustration; miscarriage.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Milton to this entry?)
    • Dryden
      Nor e'er was fate so near a foil.
  2. One of the incorrect answers presented in a multiple-choice test.

Etymology 3

From French foulis.

Noun

foil (plural foils)

  1. (hunting) The track of an animal.
Synonyms
  • (track of an animal): spoor

Etymology 4

From mnemonic acronym FOIL (First Outside Inside Last).

Verb

foil (third-person singular simple present foils, present participle foiling, simple past and past participle foiled)

  1. (mathematics) To multiply two binomials together.
Translations

Etymology 5

See file.

Verb

foil (third-person singular simple present foils, present participle foiling, simple past and past participle foiled)

  1. (obsolete) To defile; to soil.

Anagrams


Old French

Alternative forms

  • feul
  • foel
  • fol

Etymology

Latin folium. Compare fueille, from the plural of folium, folia.

Noun

foil m (oblique plural fouz or foilz, nominative singular fouz or foilz, nominative plural foil)

  1. leaf (green appendage of a plant which photosynthesizes)