foul Definition

  • 1offensive to the senses, especially through having a disgusting smell or taste
  • 2contrary to the rules or standards; dishonest or unfair
  • 3an act of committing an offense in sports or games

Using foul: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "foul" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The foul odor coming from the garbage can made me feel sick.

  • Example

    The player was given a yellow card for a foul tackle.

  • Example

    He was accused of playing a foul game and cheating his opponent.

  • Example

    The meat tasted foul and I couldn't eat it.

  • Example

    The politician's actions were considered foul by the public.

foul Synonyms and Antonyms

Phrases with foul

  • foul play

    unfair or dishonest behavior, especially in a game or sport


    The referee suspected foul play and decided to investigate the incident.

  • the use of offensive or vulgar words


    The teacher reprimanded the student for using foul language in class.

  • a state of being angry, upset, or unhappy


    She woke up in a foul mood and didn't want to talk to anyone.

Origins of foul

from Old English 'fūl', meaning 'rotten, decayed'


Summary: foul in Brief

The term 'foul' [faʊl] describes something that is unpleasant to the senses, such as a bad smell or taste. It also refers to actions that are contrary to the rules or standards, like cheating or dishonesty. In sports or games, 'foul' denotes an offense. Phrases like 'foul play' and 'foul language' extend the concept of unfairness and offensiveness to specific contexts.

How do native speakers use this expression?