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Webster 1913 Edition


Foul

Foul

(foul)
,
Noun.
[See
Fowl
.]
A bird.
[Obs.]
Chaucer.

Foul

(foul)
,
Adj.
[
Com
par.
Fouler
(-ẽr)
;
sup
erl.
Foulest
.]
[OE.
foul
,
ful
, AS.
fūl
; akin to D.
vuil
, G.
faul
rotten, OHG.
fūl
, Icel.
fūl
foul, fetid; Dan.
fuul
, Sw.
ful
foul, Goth.
fūls
fetid, Lith.
puti
to be putrid, L.
putere
to stink, be putrid,
pus
pus, Gr.
πύον
pus, to cause to rot, Skr.
pūy
to stink. √82. Cf.
Defile
to foul,
File
to foul,
Filth
,
Pus
,
Putrid
.]
1.
Covered with, or containing, extraneous matter which is injurious, noxious, offensive, or obstructive; filthy; dirty; not clean; polluted; nasty; defiled;
as, a
foul
cloth;
foul
hands; a
foul
chimney;
foul
air; a ship’s bottom is
foul
when overgrown with barnacles; a gun becomes
foul
from repeated firing; a well is
foul
with polluted water.
My face is
foul
with weeping.
Job. xvi. 16.
2.
Scurrilous; obscene or profane; abusive;
as,
foul
words;
foul
language.
3.
Hateful; detestable; shameful; odious; wretched.
“The foul with Sycorax.”
Shak.
Who first seduced them to that
foul
revolt?
Milton.
4.
Loathsome; disgusting;
as, a
foul
disease
.
5.
Ugly; homely; poor.
[Obs.]
Chaucer.
Let us, like merchants, show our
foulest
wares.
Shakespeare
6.
Not favorable; unpropitious; not fair or advantageous;
as, a
foul
wind; a
foul
road
; cloudy or rainy; stormy; not fair; – said of the weather, sky, etc.
So
foul
a sky clears not without a storm.
Shakespeare
7.
Not conformed to the established rules and customs of a game, conflict, test, etc.; unfair; dishonest; dishonorable; cheating;
as,
foul
play
.
8.
Having freedom of motion interfered with by collision or entanglement; entangled; – opposed to
clear
;
as, a rope or cable may get
foul
while paying it out
.
Foul anchor
.
(Naut.)
See under
Anchor
.
Foul ball
(Baseball)
,
a ball that first strikes the ground outside of the foul ball lines, or rolls outside of certain limits.
Foul ball lines
(Baseball)
,
lines from the home base, through the first and third bases, to the boundary of the field.
Foul berth
(Naut.)
,
a berth in which a ship is in danger of fouling another vesel.
Foul bill
, or
Foul bill of health
,
a certificate, duly authenticated, that a ship has come from a place where a contagious disorder prevails, or that some of the crew are infected.
Foul copy
,
a rough draught, with erasures and corrections; – opposed to fair or clean copy.
“Some writers boast of negligence, and others would be ashamed to show their foul copies.”
Cowper.
Foul proof
,
an uncorrected proof; a proof containing an excessive quantity of errors.
Foul strike
(Baseball)
,
a strike by the batsman when any part of his person is outside of the lines of his position.
To fall foul
,
to fall out; to quarrel.
[Obs.]
“If they be any ways offended, they fall foul.”
Burton.
To fall foul of
or
To run foul of
.
See under
Fall
.
To make foul water
,
to sail in such shallow water that the ship's keel stirs the mud at the bottom.

Foul

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Fouled
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Fouling
.]
1.
To make filthy; to defile; to daub; to dirty; to soil;
as, to
foul
the face or hands with mire
.
2.
(Mil.)
To incrust (the bore of a gun) with burnt powder in the process of firing.
3.
To cover (a ship's bottom) with anything that impered its sailing;
as, a bottom
fouled
with barnacles
.
4.
To entangle, so as to impede motion;
as, to
foul
a rope or cable in paying it out
; to come into collision with;
as, one boat
fouled
the other in a race
.

Foul

,
Verb.
I.
1.
To become clogged with burnt powder in the process of firing, as a gun.
2.
To become entagled, as ropes; to come into collision with something;
as, the two boats
fouled
.

Foul

,
Noun.
1.
An entanglement; a collision, as in a boat race.
2.
(Baseball)
See
Foul ball
, under
Foul
,
Adj.

Webster 1828 Edition


Foul

FOUL

, a.
1.
Covered with or containing extraneous matter which is injurious, noxious or offensive; filthy; dirty; not clean; as a foul cloth; foul hands; a foul chimney.
My face is foul with weeping. Job. 16.
2.
Turbid; thick; muddy; as foul water; a foul stream.
3.
Impure; polluted; as a foul mouth.
4.
Impure; scurrilous; obscene or profane; as foul words; foul language.
5.
Cloudy and stormy; rainy or tempestuous; as foul weather.
6.
Impure; defiling; as a foul disease.
7.
Wicked; detestable; abominable; as a foul deed; a foul spirit.
Babylon - the hold of every foul spirit. Rev. 18.
8.
Unfair; not honest; not lawful or according to established rules or customs; as foul play.
9.
Hateful; ugly; loathsome.
Hast thou forgot the foul witch Sycorax.
10.
Disgraceful; shameful; as a foul defeat.
Who first seduced them to that foul revolt?
11.
Coarse; gross.
They are all for rank and foul feeding.
12.
Full of gross humors or impurities.
You perceive the body of our kingdom, how foul it is.
13.
Full of weeds; as, the garden is very foul.
14.
Among seamen, entangled; hindered from motion; opposed to clear; as, a rope is foul.
15.
Covered with weeds or barnacles; as, the ship has a foul bottom.
16.
Not fair; contrary; as a foul wind.
17.
Not favorable or safe; dangerous; as a foul road or bay.
1.
To fall foul, is to rush on with haste, rough force and unseasonable violence.
2.
To run against; as, the ship fell foul of her consort.

FOUL

,
Verb.
T.
To make filthy; to defile; to daub; to dirty; to bemire; to soil; as, to foul the clothes; to foul the face or hands. Ezek. 34:18.

Definition 2021


Foul

Foul

See also: foul

German

Noun

Foul n

  1. (sports) foul (a breach of the rules of a game)

Derived terms

foul

foul

See also: Foul

English

Adjective

foul (comparative fouler, superlative foulest)

  1. Covered with, or containing unclean matter; dirty
    • 2013 June 29, Unspontaneous combustion”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 29:
      Since the mid-1980s, when Indonesia first began to clear its bountiful forests on an industrial scale in favour of lucrative palm-oil plantations, “haze” has become an almost annual occurrence in South-East Asia. The cheapest way to clear logged woodland is to burn it, producing an acrid cloud of foul white smoke that, carried by the wind, can cover hundreds, or even thousands, of square miles.
    This cloth is too foul to use as a duster.
    His foul hands got dirt all over the kitchen.
    The air was so foul nobody could breathe.
    A ship's bottom is foul when overgrown with barnacles
    A well is foul with polluted water.
  2. (of words or a way of speaking) obscene, vulgar or abusive.
    The rascal spewed forth a series of foul words.
    His foul language causes many people to believe he is uneducated.
  3. detestable, unpleasant
    He has a foul set of friends.
    • Milton
      Who first seduced them to that foul revolt?
  4. disgusting, repulsive; causing disgust
    This foul food is making me retch.
    There was a foul smell coming from the toilet.
  5. (obsolete) Ugly; homely; poor.
    • Shakespeare
      Let us, like merchants, show our foulest wares.
  6. (of the weather) unpleasant, stormy or rainy
    Some foul weather is brewing.
    • Shakespeare
      So foul a sky clears not without a storm.
  7. dishonest or not conforming to the established rules and customs of a game, conflict, test, etc.
    Foul play is not suspected.
  8. (nautical) entangled and therefore restricting free movement, not clear
    We've got a foul anchor.
    a rope could get foul while paying it out.
  9. (baseball) Outside of the base lines; in foul territory.
    Jones hit foul ball after foul ball.
Usage notes
  • Nouns to which "foul" is often applied: play, ball, language, breath, smell, odor, water, weather, deed.
Synonyms
Translations
Derived terms

Etymology 2

From Old English fūlian.

Verb

foul (third-person singular simple present fouls, present participle fouling, simple past and past participle fouled)

  1. (transitive) To make dirty.
    to foul the face or hands with mire
    She's fouled her diaper.
  2. (transitive) To besmirch.
    He's fouled his reputation.
  3. (transitive) To clog or obstruct.
    The hair has fouled the drain.
  4. (transitive, nautical) To entangle.
    • 1941, Emily Carr, Klee Wyck, Chapter 18,
      The Indian's heart was sore for his boat; it looked as if nothing could save her. She was drifting more slowly now, her propeller fouled in kelp.
    The kelp has fouled the prop.
  5. (transitive, basketball) To make contact with an opposing player in order to gain advantage.
    Smith fouled him hard.
  6. (transitive, baseball) To hit outside of the baselines.
    Jones fouled the ball off the facing of the upper deck.
  7. (intransitive) To become clogged.
    The drain fouled.
  8. (intransitive) To become entangled.
    The prop fouled on the kelp.
  9. (intransitive, basketball) To commit a foul.
    Smith fouled within the first minute of the quarter.
  10. (intransitive, baseball) To hit a ball outside of the baselines.
    Jones fouled for strike one.

Derived terms

Translations

Noun

foul (plural fouls)

  1. (sports) A breach of the rules of a game, especially one involving inappropriate contact with an opposing player in order to gain an advantage; for example, tripping someone up in soccer, or contact of any kind in basketball.
    • 2011 December 10, Arindam Rej, “Norwich 4 - 2 Newcastle”, in BBC Sport:
      A second Norwich goal in four minutes arrived after some dire Newcastle defending. Gosling gave the ball away with a sloppy back-pass, allowing Crofts to curl in a cross that the unmarked Morison powered in with a firm, 12-yard header.
      Gosling's plight worsened when he was soon shown a red card for a foul on Martin.
  2. (bowling) A (usually accidental) contact between a bowler and the lane before the bowler has released the ball.
  3. (baseball) A foul ball, a ball which has been hit outside of the base lines.
    Jones hit a foul up over the screen.
Translations

German

Verb

foul

  1. Imperative singular of foulen.
  2. (colloquial) First-person singular present of foulen.