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:foul weather.
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:foul language.
Gamescontrary to the rules or established usages, as of a sport or game; unfair:a foul blow.
Sport[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.
(of the underwater portion of a hull) encrusted and impeded with barnacles, seaweed, etc.
(of a mooring place) involving inconveniences and dangers, as of colliding with vessels or other objects when swinging with the tide.
(of the bottom of a body of water) affording a poor hold for an anchor (opposed to clean).
Scottish Terms[North Eng. and Scot.]not fair; ugly or unattractive.
in a foul manner; vilely; unfairly.
Sport[Baseball.]into foul territory; so as to be foul:It looked like a homer when he hit it, but it went foul.
fall foul or afoul of:
to collide with, as ships.
to come into conflict with; quarrel.
to make an attack; assault.
Idiomsrun foul or afoul of, to come into collision or controversy with:to run foul of the press.
something that is foul.
a collision or entanglement:a foul between two racing sculls.
Gamesa violation of the rules of a sport or game:The referee called it a foul.
Sport[Baseball.]See foul ball.
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.
Naval Terms[Naut.](of barnacles, seaweed, etc.) to cling to (a hull) so as to encumber.
Sport[Baseball.]to hit (a pitched ball) foul (often fol. by off or away):He fouled off two curves before being struck out on a fastball.
to become foul.
Naval Terms[Naut.]to come into collision, as two boats.
to become entangled or clogged:The rope fouled.
Sport[Sports.]to make a foul play; give a foul blow.
Sport Baseball. to hit a foul ball.
Idiomsfoul one's nest. to dishonor one's own home, family, or the like.
[Baseball.]to be put out by hitting a foul ball caught on the fly by a player on the opposing team.
[Basketball.]to be expelled from a game for having committed more fouls than is allowed.
Informal Termsfoul up,[Informal.]to cause confusion or disorder; bungle; spoil.
Etymology:bef. 900; (adjective, adjectival and noun, nominal) Middle English ful, foul, Old English fūl; cognate with Gothic fuls, Old Norse fūll, Old High German fūl; akin to Latin pūspus,pūtēre to stink, Greek pýon pus; (adverb, adverbial) Middle English fule, foule, derivative of the adjective, adjectival; (verb, verbal) Middle English fulen, derivative of the adjective, adjectival