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Crossword clues for foul

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a foul mood (=very bad and angry)
▪ Watch what you say; he's in a foul mood.
fall foul of the law
▪ He is worried that his teenage kids will fall foul of the law.
foul line
foul play
▪ The police said they had no reason to suspect foul play.
professional foul
ruled out foul play
▪ Detectives have not ruled out foul play.
suspect foul play
▪ The police said they had no reason to suspect foul play.
suspect murder/foul play
▪ The position of the body led the police to suspect murder.
taste horrible/awful/disgusting/foul
▪ The tea tasted horrible.
(whether) by fair means or foul (=using unfair methods if necessary)
▪ They were determined to achieve victory, by fair means or foul.
▪ The Police are seemingly unable to do anything about it, especially against the use of the foulest language accompanying such vice.
▪ That M. Dupont's arrived in the foulest mood imaginable.
▪ Despite the foulest weather, the Traction acquitted itself with perfect decorum.
cry foul
▪ Conservationists cried foul when public land was put up for sale by the federal government.
fall foul of sb/sth
▪ Edwards fell foul of the authorities and was ordered to leave the country.
good-tempered/foul-tempered/quick-tempered etc
foul deeds
▪ A foul haze of pollution hung over the city.
▪ a pile of foul-smelling garbage
▪ Residents have complained of foul odors from the factory.
▪ Sanchez hit three foul balls before connecting with a line drive to right field.
▪ the foul air of the factory
▪ The foul haze of pollution has meant an increase in asthma cases.
▪ There was a foul smell coming up from the river.
▪ Supposing aunt sees us, said G.P. Barber's got the foulest reputation in Cornwall.
▪ But along the way it had all got fouled up.
▪ It fouled up the airline for five days until President Clinton stepped in.
▪ It's you who've fouled up, not me.
▪ I remember caddying for a tour player who became enraged after fouling up a simple shot.
▪ They'd get fouled up with barley and dust during the malting season.
▪ He had to keep looking for new places he hadn't fouled up.
▪ Executives claim that the government is fouling up development by preventing the influx of badly needed computers.
by fair means or foul
good-tempered/foul-tempered/quick-tempered etc
▪ Check that nothing can foul the moving parts.
▪ Hardaway was fouled trying to make a three-point shot.
▪ On average, most batters foul at least one ball in each at bat.
▪ The oil spill has fouled at least four beaches.
▪ But Brent fouled out with 6: 11 left, depriving the Clippers a penetrator on their potential game-winning possession.
▪ He turned and hit a 3-point shot while being fouled by Bailey.
▪ In Game 2, Williams played 26 minutes, fouled out and Robinson had 40 points.
▪ It fouled up the airline for five days until President Clinton stepped in.
▪ Late on there was an incident in on the edge of the Ipswich penalty area, can't remember who fouled who.
▪ Most deaths are caused not by catastrophic accidents but by fouling from oil that is illegally but routinely discharged from ships.
▪ She was singing aloud as she skipped when suddenly and unexpectedly her rope was fouled by something and nearly tripped her up.
▪ They fouled their corners and filled the hot room with their smells, and they frightened him with their incessant snarling.
by fair means or foul
cry foul
▪ Conservationists cried foul when public land was put up for sale by the federal government.
fall foul of sb/sth
▪ Edwards fell foul of the authorities and was ordered to leave the country.
▪ He'd committed three fouls by half-time.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Foul \Foul\ (foul), n. [See Fowl.] A bird. [Obs.]


Foul \Foul\, n.

  1. An entanglement; a collision, as in a boat race.

  2. (Baseball) See Foul ball, under Foul, a.

  3. In various games or sports, an act done contrary to the rules; a foul stroke, hit, play, or the like.


Foul \Foul\, v. 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 \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.

    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.''

    Who first seduced them to that foul revolt?

  4. Loathsome; disgusting; as, a foul disease.

  5. Ugly; homely; poor. [Obs.]

    Let us, like merchants, show our foulest wares.

  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.

  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.''

    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.''

    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 \Foul\, v. 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.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Old English fulian "to become foul, rot, decay," from ful (see foul (adj.)). Transitive meaning "make foul, pollute" is from c.1200. Meaning "become entangled" (chiefly nautical) is from 1832, probably from foul (adj.) in the sense "obstructed by anything fixed or attached" (late 15c.). "A term generally used in contrast to clear, and implies entangled, embarrassed or contrary to: e.g. to foul the helm, to find steerage impracticable owing to the rudder becoming entangled with rope or other gear" [Sir Geoffrey Callender, "Sea Passages," 1943]. Related: Fouled; fouling. Hence also foul anchor (1769), one with the slack of the cable twisted round the stock or a fluke; noted by 1832 as naval insignia.


Old English ful "rotten, unclean, vile, corrupt, offensive to the senses," from Proto-Germanic *fulaz (cognates: Old Saxon and Old Frisian ful, Middle Dutch voul, Dutch vuil, Old High German fül, German faul, Gothic füls), from PIE *pu- (2) "to rot, decay," perhaps from the sound made in reaction to smelling something bad (see pus).\n

\nOld English ful occasionally meant "ugly" (as contrasted with fæger (adj.), modern fair (adj.)), and this sense became frequent in Middle English. The cognate in Swedish is the usual word for "ugly." Of weather from mid-14c. In the sporting sense of "irregular, unfair, contrary to established rule or practice" it is first attested 1797, though foul play is recorded from mid-15c. Baseball sense of "out of play" attested by 1860.


Etymology 1

  1. Covered with, or containing unclean matter; polluted; nasty; defiled Etymology 2

    n. (context sports English) A breach of the rules of a game, especially one involving inappropriate contact with an opposing player in order to gain an advantage; as, for example, foot-tripping in soccer, or contact of any kind in basketball. v

  2. 1 (context transitive English) To make dirty. 2 (context transitive English) To besmirch. 3 (context transitive English) To clog or obstruct. 4 (context transitive nautical English) To entangle. 5 (context transitive basketball English) To make contact with an opposing player in order to gain advantage. 6 (context transitive baseball English) To hit outside of the baselines. 7 (context intransitive English) To become clogged. 8 (context intransitive English) To become entangled. 9 (context intransitive basketball English) To commit a foul. 10 (context intransitive baseball English) To hit a ball outside of the baselines.


n. an act that violates of the rules of a sport

  1. v. hit a foul ball

  2. make impure; "The industrial wastes polluted the lake" [syn: pollute, contaminate]

  3. become or cause to become obstructed; "The leaves clog our drains in the Fall"; "The water pipe is backed up" [syn: clog, choke off, clog up, back up, congest, choke] [ant: unclog]

  4. commit a foul; break the rules

  5. spot, stain, or pollute; "The townspeople defiled the river by emptying raw sewage into it" [syn: befoul, defile, maculate]

  6. make unclean; "foul the water"

  7. become soiled and dirty

  1. adj. highly offensive; arousing aversion or disgust; "a disgusting smell"; "distasteful language"; "a loathsome disease"; "the idea of eating meat is repellent to me"; "revolting food"; "a wicked stench" [syn: disgusting, disgustful, distasteful, loathly, loathsome, repellent, repellant, repelling, revolting, skanky, wicked, yucky]

  2. offensively malodorous; "a putrid smell" [syn: fetid, foetid, foul-smelling, funky, noisome, smelly, putrid, stinking]

  3. violating accepted standards or rules; "a dirty fighter"; "used foul means to gain power"; "a nasty unsporting serve"; "fined for unsportsmanlike behavior" [syn: cheating(a), dirty, unsporting, unsportsmanlike]

  4. (of a baseball) not hit between the foul lines [ant: fair]

  5. (of a manuscript) defaced with changes; "foul (or dirty) copy" [syn: dirty, marked-up]

  6. thoroughly unpleasant; "filthy (or foul or nasty or vile) weather we're having" [syn: filthy, nasty, vile]

  7. characterized by obscenity; "had a filthy mouth"; "foul language"; "smutty jokes" [syn: filthy, nasty, smutty]

  8. disgustingly dirty; filled or smeared with offensive matter; "as filthy as a pigsty"; "a foul pond"; "a nasty pigsty of a room" [syn: filthy, nasty]

  9. especially of a ship's lines etc; "with its sails afoul"; "a foul anchor" [syn: afoul(ip), fouled]


Foul may refer to:

Foul (nautical)

Foul is a nautical term meaning to entangle or entwine, and more generally that something is wrong or difficult. The term dates back to usage with wind-driven sailing ships.

Foul (basketball)

In basketball, a foul is an infraction of the rules more serious than a violation. Most fouls occur as a result of illegal personal contact with an opponent and/or unsportsmanlike behavior. Fouls can result in one or more of the following penalties:

  • The team whose player committed the foul loses possession of the ball to the other team.
  • The fouled player is awarded one or more free throws.
  • The player committing the foul "fouls out" of the game.
  • The player committing the foul is suspended from some number of subsequent games.

Some of the penalties listed above are assessed only if a player or a team commits a number of fouls above a specified limit.

Ordinary fouls are routine because of the constant motion inherent in the sport and are not viewed as bad sportsmanship. The penalty imposes a cost on violating the rules but does not disparage the player committing the foul. A player intending never to commit a foul might play so cautiously as to be ineffective. More serious fouls are regarded as bad sportsmanship, and the penalties are designed to be disciplinary.

There are several classes of foul, each enumerated below and covered in greater detail in its own article.

Foul (sports)

In sports, a foul is an inappropriate or unfair act by a player as deemed by a referee, usually violating the rules of a sport or game. A foul may be intentional or accidental, and often results in a penalty. Even though it may not be intentional fouling can still cause serious harm or injury to opposing players, or even their own players if unaware of their surroundings during particular situations on sports. Often own team mates can clash and foul each other by accident, such as both going for and with eyes on a ball in AFL. Strategical fouls violate the traditional norms of cooperation and agreement to the essential rules and regulations of the game, or are perhaps not part of the games at all.

Individual sports may have different types of fouls. For example, in basketball, a personal foul involves illegal personal contact with an opponent. A technical foul refers to unsportsmanlike non-contact behavior, a more serious infraction than a personal foul. A flagrant foul involves unsportsmanlike contact behavior, considered the most serious foul and often resulting in ejection from the game.

In association football, a foul is an unfair act by a player as deemed by the referee. In association football or rugby, a professional foul is a deliberate act of foul play, usually to prevent an opponent scoring.

Kinjite are various fouls that a sumo wrestler might commit that will cause him to lose the bout.

Facial is a term used in some contact sports to refer to a foul that involves one player hitting another in the face.

Penalties awarded against fouls usually affect the outcome of the game immediately, as seen in the examples above. However, in some cases committing a foul may have further repercussions in the form of a fine (penalty), especially in professional competitions. For example, in the National Basketball Association players are given a $2000 fine each technical foul committed for the first five technical fouls committed in the regular season. Players may also receive fines up to $50,000 for committing fighting fouls. Great athletes push on the rules, norms and boundaries of their games in pursuit for victory/success, although there can be consequences for crossing lines and unwanted outcomes such as suspensions or bans from the games altogether.

Coaches are not exempt from fouls. In some cases, coaches can also receive fouls. For example, in basketball the coach can be given technical fouls or be immediately ejected from the game. Two examples of a technical foul committed by a coach are entering the court without permission from the referee or physically contacting an official. In the event of receiving two technical fouls, the coach will be ejected from the game.An example of when a coach may be immediately ejected from the game is if they commit a punching foul.

Foul (fanzine)

Foul was a football fanzine that was first published in the United Kingdom in October 1972 by Cambridge University students. It was inspired by Private Eye and is regarded as being the first recognisable football fanzine. 34 issues were published between 1972 and 1976. One of its writers was Chris Lightbown. Stan Hey, Steve Tongue and Andrew Nickolds were also regular contributors.

It was set up at a time when fanzines were being produced for a number of different topics, in order to provide a challenge to the mainstream media. Nearly 10 years after Foul ceased publication a new wave of football fanzines commenced publishing after the Heysel and Bradford disasters. Many, including 'When Saturday Comes', were inspired by Foul.

Usage examples of "foul".

I saw that Aberrancy was not a fouling of the body, but merely a changing.

Mysteries with good reason adumbrate the immersion of the unpurified in filth, even in the Nether-World, since the unclean loves filth for its very filthiness, and swine foul of body find their joy in foulness.

Hence the Mysteries with good reason adumbrate the immersion of the unpurified in filth, even in the Nether-World, since the unclean loves filth for its very filthiness, and swine foul of body find their joy in foulness.

Behind them, the sage continued his chant, reciting slokas upon slokas, the mantras seeming to change the very texture of the air they breathed, infusing their lungs with raw, pure energy drawn down from the akasa to replace the foul atmosphere of the Bhayanak-van.

Tell me who He is, why He allows the foulest hyenas of our society to run amuck while decent men and women cower in terror behind Fox locks and Dictograph systems.

It had become a foul, slippery night, the rain turning to a slushy half-ice, the car always on the verge of aquaplaning me into the next world.

When a plant has a particularly unpleasant smell like the stinking Arrach, it usually points to a particular use - the stinking Arrach is used for foul ulcers.

I had best do is go back to the living-domes and ask permission to spend the rest of this day in the ashram, because I am foul and black and dreadful inside.

And the foulest babbler of them all, hot with the exercise of the indecent gestures wherewith he illustrated his filthy tale, had slunk off like a pariah dog.

Heavy surf pounded the beaches, small craft took shelter behind the block-ships, all work stopped, ships anchored off shore dragged anchors and fouled one another, beaching craft were driven ashore, Mulberry A began to break up, and the crash of small craft, dukws, vehicles and derelict units grinding together was heard above the din of war.

The company rose from table, and then began a foul orgy which I should never have conceived possible, and which no pen could describe, though possibly a seasoned profligate might get some idea of it.

Men and women and young children, gaunt with hunger and begrimed with dirt, some with faces that were hard and stony, some with faces that were weak and simple, some with eyes that were red as blood, all weary with waiting and wasted with long pain, ran hither and thither in the gloom of the foul place where they were immured together.

Foul, ceaseless shadows:--thought could not divide The actual world from these entangling evils, Which so bemocked themselves, that I descried All shapes like mine own self, hideously multiplied.

A part of him still wanted to claim that the woman had bewitched him somehow, used foul enchantment to beguile him with her charms.

Externally, the bruised leaves are of excellent service for cleansing and stimulating foul sores and ulcers, being first macerated in a Cabbage leaf with warmth.