adjective, fouler, foulest.
grossly offensive to the senses; disgustingly loathsome; noisome:
a foul smell.
containing or characterized by offensive or noisome matter:
foul air; foul stagnant water.
filthy or dirty, as places, receptacles, clothes, etc.
muddy, as a road.
clogged or obstructed with foreign matter:
a foul gas jet.
unfavorable or stormy:
contrary, violent, or unfavorable, as the wind.
grossly offensive in a moral sense.
abominable, wicked, or vile, as deeds, crime, slander, etc.
scurrilous, profane, or obscene; offensive:
contrary to the rules or established usages, as of a sport or game; unfair:
a foul blow.
Baseball. pertaining to a foul ball or a foul line.
limited in freedom of movement by obstruction, entanglement, etc.:
a foul anchor.
abounding in errors or in marks of correction, as a printer’s proof, manuscript, or the like.
North England and Scot.. not fair; ugly or unattractive.
in a foul manner; vilely; unfairly.
Baseball. into foul territory; so as to be foul:
It looked like a homer when he hit it, but it went foul.
something that is foul.
a collision or entanglement:
a foul between two racing sculls.
a violation of the rules of a sport or game:
The referee called it a foul.
verb (used with object)
to make foul; defile; soil.
to clog or obstruct, as a chimney or the bore of a gun.
to collide with.
to cause to become entangled or caught, as a rope.
to defile; dishonor; disgrace:
His reputation had been fouled by unfounded accusations.
Nautical. (of barnacles, seaweed, etc.) to cling to (a hull) so as to encumber.
Baseball. to hit (a pitched ball) foul (often followed by off or away):
He fouled off two curves before being struck out on a fastball.
verb (used without object)
to become foul.
Nautical. to come into collision, as two boats.
to become entangled or clogged:
The rope fouled.
Sports. to make a ; give a foul blow.
Baseball. to hit a foul ball.
foul up, Informal. to cause confusion or disorder; bungle; spoil.
fall foul / afoul of,
foul one’s nest, to dishonor one’s own home, family, or the like.
run foul / afoul of, to come into collision or controversy with:
to run foul of the press.
offensive to the senses; revolting
offensive in odour; stinking
charged with or full of dirt or offensive matter; filthy
(of food) putrid; rotten
morally or spiritually offensive; wicked; vile
obscene; vulgar: foul language
not in accordance with accepted standards or established rules; unfair: to resort to foul means
(esp of weather) unpleasant or adverse
blocked or obstructed with dirt or foreign matter: a foul drain
entangled or impeded: a foul anchor
(of the bottom of a vessel) covered with barnacles and other growth that slow forward motion
(informal) unsatisfactory or uninteresting; bad: a foul book
an entanglement or collision, esp in sailing or fishing
to make or become dirty or polluted
to become or cause to become entangled or snarled
(transitive) to disgrace or dishonour
to become or cause to become clogged or choked
(transitive) (nautical) (of underwater growth) to cling to (the bottom of a vessel) so as to slow its motion
(transitive) (sport) to commit a foul against (an opponent)
(transitive) (baseball) to hit (a ball) in an illegal manner
(intransitive) (sport) to infringe the rules
(transitive) (of an animal, especially a dog) to defecate on: do not let your dog foul the footpath
to collide with (a boat, etc)
in a foul or unfair manner
fall foul of
Old English fullice; see foul (adj.) + -ly (2).
Old English ful “rotten, unclean, vile, corrupt, offensive to the senses,” from Proto-Germanic *fulaz (cf. Old Saxon and Old Frisian ful, Middle Dutch voul, Dutch vuil, Old High German fül, German faul, Gothic füls), from root *fu-, corresponding to PIE *pu-, perhaps from the sound made in reaction to smelling something bad (cf. Sanskrit puyati “rots, stinks,” putih “foul, rotten;” Greek puon “discharge from a sore;” Latin pus “putrid matter,” putere “to stink,” putridus “rotten;” Lithuanian puviu “to rot”).
Old English ful occasionally meant “ugly” (as contrasted with fæger (adj.), modern fair (adj.)), a sense frequently found in Middle English, and the cognate in Swedish is the usual word for “ugly.” Of weather, first recorded late 14c. In the sporting sense of “irregular, unfair” it is first attested 1797, though foul play is recorded from mid-15c. Baseball sense of “out of play” attested by 1860. Foulmart was a Middle English word for “polecat” (from Old English mearð “marten”).
Old English fulian “to become foul, rot,” from ful (see foul (adj.)). Related: Fouled; fouling.
[foo-mert, -mahrt] /ˈfu mərt, -ˌmɑrt/ noun 1. . [foo-mert, -mahrt] /ˈfu mərt, -ˌmɑrt/ noun 1. the European polecat, Mustela putorius. /ˈfuːmɑːt; -mət/ noun 1. a former name for polecat (sense 1)
- Foul marten
noun 1. another name for polecat (sense 1) See also sweet marten
noun 1. Printing. materials, as manuscript, galleys, or proofs, that have been superseded by revised proofs or galleys or by the bound book, and have been returned to the publisher by the printer.
noun A person inclined to utter obscenities, profanity, etc (1640+)