To fall foul of
Foul Foul (foul), a. [Compar. Fouler (-[~e]r); superl. {Foulest}.] [OE. foul, ful, AS. f[=u]l; akin to D. vuil, G. faul rotten, OHG. f[=u]l, Icel. f[=u]l foul, fetid; Dan. fuul, Sw. ful foul, Goth. f[=u]ls fetid, Lith. puti to be putrid, L. putere to stink, be putrid, pus pus, Gr. py`on pus, to cause to rot, Skr. p[=u]y to stink. [root]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. [1913 Webster]

My face is foul with weeping. --Job. xvi. 16. [1913 Webster]

2. Scurrilous; obscene or profane; abusive; as, foul words; foul language. [1913 Webster]

3. Hateful; detestable; shameful; odious; wretched. ``The foul with Sycorax.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Who first seduced them to that foul revolt? --Milton. [1913 Webster]

4. Loathsome; disgusting; as, a foul disease. [1913 Webster]

5. Ugly; homely; poor. [Obs.] --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

Let us, like merchants, show our foulest wares. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

So foul a sky clears not without a storm. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

7. Not conformed to the established rules and customs of a game, conflict, test, etc.; unfair; dishonest; dishonorable; cheating; as, foul play. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

{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. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To fall foul of — Fall Fall (f[add]l), v. i. [imp. {Fell} (f[e^]l); p. p. {Fallen} (f[add]l n); p. pr. & vb. n. {Falling}.] [AS. feallan; akin to D. vallen, OS. & OHG. fallan, G. fallen, Icel. Falla, Sw. falla, Dan. falde, Lith. pulti, L. fallere to deceive, Gr.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To run foul of — Foul Foul (foul), a. [Compar. Fouler ( [ e]r); superl. {Foulest}.] [OE. foul, ful, AS. f[=u]l; akin to D. vuil, G. faul rotten, OHG. f[=u]l, Icel. f[=u]l foul, fetid; Dan. fuul, Sw. ful foul, Goth. f[=u]ls fetid, Lith. puti to be putrid, L.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To fall abroad of — Fall Fall (f[add]l), v. i. [imp. {Fell} (f[e^]l); p. p. {Fallen} (f[add]l n); p. pr. & vb. n. {Falling}.] [AS. feallan; akin to D. vallen, OS. & OHG. fallan, G. fallen, Icel. Falla, Sw. falla, Dan. falde, Lith. pulti, L. fallere to deceive, Gr.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To fall aboard of — Aboard A*board , adv. [Pref. a on, in + board.] 1. On board; into or within a ship or boat; hence, into or within a railway car. [1913 Webster] 2. Alongside; as, close aboard. [1913 Webster] (Naut.): {To fall aboard of}, to strike a ship s side;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To fall foul — Foul Foul (foul), a. [Compar. Fouler ( [ e]r); superl. {Foulest}.] [OE. foul, ful, AS. f[=u]l; akin to D. vuil, G. faul rotten, OHG. f[=u]l, Icel. f[=u]l foul, fetid; Dan. fuul, Sw. ful foul, Goth. f[=u]ls fetid, Lith. puti to be putrid, L.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fall foul of someone — fall foul of (someone) to upset someone, so that they do not like you and try to harm you. Officials who fall foul of the mayor find themselves exiled to the most boring departments …   New idioms dictionary

  • fall foul of — (someone) to upset someone, so that they do not like you and try to harm you. Officials who fall foul of the mayor find themselves exiled to the most boring departments …   New idioms dictionary

  • fall foul of something — fall foul of (something) slightly formal to break a law or a rule, and often be punished. If their market share grows too large, they will fall foul of anti monopoly laws …   New idioms dictionary

  • fall foul of — (something) slightly formal to break a law or a rule, and often be punished. If their market share grows too large, they will fall foul of anti monopoly laws …   New idioms dictionary

  • fall foul of — to get into trouble with someone or something …   English dictionary

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