Adjective "Foul" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Offensive to the senses, especially through having a disgusting smell or taste or being dirty.
  1. 'his foul breath'
  2. 'There was a foul stench in the air like that of gunpowder.'
  3. 'Both are worried about the effect the leak could have on their own properties as well as the foul smell.'
  4. 'I was just getting Rick to his feet when a foul stench filled the air.'
  5. 'The room they entered was a dark, foul-smelling cellar.'
  6. 'The bread had been alright, but the water… it had tasted so foul.'
  7. 'I just rolled out of the bed groggy, with a massive headache, sore eyes, a foul taste in my mouth and the smell of cigarettes on my clothes and in my hair.'
  8. 'A Hong Kong man at the hotel said there was a foul smell and suddenly the corridor filled with smoke.'
  9. 'It leaks into groundwater from fuel storage tanks, contaminating water supplies with a foul smell and taste.'
  10. 'They began hobbling towards the car, Leanne almost crumbling under the weight and the disgusting, foul smell of alcohol.'
  11. 'A foul stench filled the air, though she could not put a name to what it was.'
  12. 'School starts tonight, it's snowing again, and I'm in a foul mood.'
  13. 'In hospital she screamed at the nurses. ‘I was foul to them. I became a monster,’ she says, sighing heavily.'
  14. 'So it is indeed possible that he had no idea he was being so foul.'
  15. 'However, at the time, the atmosphere was foul - even once or twice nearly degenerating into a punch-up.'
  16. 'As if my foul mood isn't bad enough, I have just got a notice from DHL informing me that the package I sent from home in February has been lost.'
  17. 'I went upstairs in a foul mood and shut myself in my room.'
  18. 'Thomas had looked at his brother, completely undisturbed by the foul glare he was giving him.'
  19. 'I was in a foul mood and looking for a reason to have a row with someone.'
  20. '‘OK, sorry,’ Leanne said, taken aback by Rob's uncharacteristically foul mood.'
  21. 'On Wednesday last week Clarke arrived at the paper's offices in Glasgow's Central Quay in a foul temper.'
Wicked or immoral.
  1. 'We will do everything in our power to bring to justice those who were responsible for this foul deed.'
  2. 'Canvassing for the leadership contest degenerated into a vicious campaign in which all kinds of foul means including promise of office and bribery were resorted to.'
  3. 'The methods might have been foul - full of dishonesty, cynicism and hypocrisy - but they worked.'
  4. 'Second, racism is a foul, potentially murderous and often actually murderous thing.'
  5. 'Most men involved in the search now believed that a foul crime had been committed.'
  6. 'King Hamlet's tormented spirit reveals that a hidden crime of foul murder condemns it to walk the earth and roast in hell.'
  7. 'Handing down a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment, the judge said it was an ‘evil and foul’ murder of ‘unspeakable savagery’.'
  8. 'In August 1996 its 10 million citizens were convulsed in grief and anger to hear of the foul deeds of child rapist and murderer, Mark Dutroux.'
  9. 'As Shakespeare knew only too well, from foul deeds endless tragedy arises.'
  10. 'We must stand side by side with the Jewish community, and the evil perpetrators of those foul attacks must be brought to justice.'
  11. 'foul oaths'
  12. 'Don't be distracted by my foul vocabulary or by your own frustration.'
  13. 'People who use public transport should not have to put up with foul language, aggressive behaviour or the fear of people causing damage.'
  14. 'He was also found guilty of ungentlemanly conduct, but a charge of using foul and abusive language was not proven.'
  15. 'However, your language is exceedingly foul for someone in your position.'
  16. 'Both players were found guilty of foul and abusive language towards the match official during Acorn's defeat to Normanton Knights on November 20.'
  17. 'Eventually, your little baby is going to blurt out something foul, no matter how sheltered you think she is.'
  18. 'Even though I learned most of my foul vocabulary from my parents, Mom had one word that was off-limits.'
  19. 'The language is foul (no surprise), and they have been seen urinating in front gardens.'
  20. 'She winced and screamed a very foul and unladylike oath.'
  21. 'He said the word ‘detectives’ as if it was the most foul profanity.'
  22. 'a foul tackle'
  23. 'Therefore, the proportion of foul tackles equates to the likelihood of player error occurring during the execution of a tackle.'
  24. 'All I can say is that I'll certainly be expecting my men to get stuck in and it's up to the referee after that to decide what s a fair tackle and what s a foul tackle.'
  25. 'So it's pretty ironic that the average NBA player couldn't make a foul shot if his sneaker contract depended on it.'
  26. 'And former New Zealand captain Quentin Pongia was put on report for an alleged foul tackle.'
  27. 'In the top of the 8th inning, with one out, a Marlin batter hit a foul fly ball in the direction of the stands.'
  28. 'He called four foul throw-ins, invoked the six-second rule against a keeper who had just come on as a substitute and found himself being exceptionally whistle happy.'
Containing or full of noxious matter; polluted.
  1. 'In the 19th century refuse, waste, water and foul water were just dumped in the streets, resulting in widespread disease.'
  2. 'The sky was the sort of overcast that was not just gray, but the kind of gray that bled the color from all the things around it, a thick smog filling the air, ominous and foul.'
  3. 'The air grew foul, the reek of rotting death made them heave as they picked their way through the mass of tangled bodies.'
  4. 'Their choice was cold, damp, flooded huts or foul, humid air in an overcrowded ward.'
  5. 'In 1285 London's air was so foul that King Edward I set up an air pollution commission, which banned the use of coal.'
  6. 'At least five homes in Moresby Close, Westlea, were swamped by up to six inches of foul water when a brook flooded and sewers burst during a recent downpour.'
  7. 'There were also doubts about the ability of the current sewerage system to cope with more foul water and concern over the loss of recreational space.'
  8. 'The first few breaths overwhelmed her and she gagged on the foul air.'
  9. 'As well, some new sewers will be laid in the town and there will be greater separation of surface water from foul sewer to create more capacity in the treatment plant.'
  10. 'Most of these tasks were in the pipeline anyway as part of Beijing's plan to modernise its outdated infrastructure and clean up its notoriously foul air.'
  11. 'the land was foul with weeds'
  12. 'Wheat is an exhausting crop, which requires land in good heart, whilst if grown continuously, or too frequently, disease often becomes serious, and, most important of all, the land becomes very foul with weeds.'
(of the weather) wet and stormy.
  1. 'the weather turned foul'
  2. 'The weather was foul but we decided to treat ourselves to a Starbucks trip anyway, and were well rewarded.'
  3. 'With the foul weather, crazy workload and lack of sleep, motivation has been pretty low for the last three months.'
  4. 'Both European victories have been on Scottish soil, but the weather was so foul last weekend that it would be wrong the claim the latter was an unqualified success.'
  5. 'Horse and rider need to nurture complete trust, to tackle the field in fair weather or foul with cavalier bravery but with two minds, one of them human, intrinsically focused.'
  6. 'She added that unlike other walkers, groups of charity fund-raisers were not deterred by foul weather, simply because they had to take part in their event on a chosen day.'
  7. 'The situation is worse when the weather is foul.'
  8. 'Hart drove two tons of metal through a foul and wintry February morning, hurtling through the snowy dark.'
  9. 'The foul weather also keeps most students at school in the middle of the day, making do with very simple food such as plain steamed buns and hot water, for lunch.'
  10. 'The weather was foul this morning and we all got soaked.'
  11. 'Despite predictions of foul weather and traffic chaos, sunny weather lured thousands of tourists to the Lake District.'
  12. 'Nicolson, a successful writer but somewhat inexperienced sailor, teams up with an old salt and buddy George Fairhurst, who continually bails them out of near calamities - foul currents, fierce tides, raging winds and equipment failures.'


(in sport) an unfair or invalid stroke or piece of play, especially one involving interference with an opponent.
  1. 'In the past decade, Brazilian football has become among the most violent in the world with an astonishing average of around 55 fouls a game in domestic matches.'
  2. 'World Cup referees yesterday vowed to crack down on players who orchestrate and feign fouls to get opponents in trouble.'
  3. 'It took three fouls apiece on Kandi and Ervin Johnson to force Saunders's hand in the direction he should have been following all along - playing Mark Madsen.'
  4. 'It was a well-behaved match with very few fouls.'
  5. 'In last week's ferocious victory over Huddersfield, for example, Ellis was the victim of a deliberate late foul, and was then bitten for good measure.'
  6. 'Harvey got whistled for a foul and then lost it, followed by Howard.'
  7. 'To be fair to Halsey, he didn't have a good view of the incident, and there was no way he could tell how obvious a foul it was.'
  8. 'Owen had a much more convincing penalty appeal just before half-time, but Andreas Dober somehow got away with a blatant, over-the-top foul.'
  9. 'Phil Neville and Tim Cahill were both booked, with the former Manchester United midfielder responsible for the foul which forced off Pires.'
  10. 'He even had the ball in the net, but was booked for a foul on the goalkeeper.'
  11. 'With a personal best of 6.68m from earlier in the season, she surprisingly had fouls on her first two efforts and waited long on the runway as she composed herself for her last attempt.'
A disease in the feet of cattle.


    Contrary to the rules; unfairly.
    1. 'That's the real problem: even guys who want to play fair are under pressure from cheaters to play foul.'
    2. 'There have been productions of this play set in innumerable locales and time periods, but I've never seen one that played so foul with the tone of Shakespeare's text.'


    Make foul or dirty; pollute.
    1. 'At rush hour the streets are plugged with cars producing vast quantities of toxic gases that foul the air.'
    2. 'Regional air pollution increased throughout the 1990s and into the current decade as electricity demand, motor vehicle use and industrial activity have increasingly fouled the air.'
    3. 'Moreover, our dependency on coal to generate energy not only fouls our air, but poisons our fish with mercury.'
    4. 'Industry and agriculture have fouled the air, the water, and the soil.'
    5. 'When the EPA found companies fouling our air and water, it instituted a program of pollution credits.'
    6. 'make sure that your pet never fouls paths'
    7. 'Swindon Council employs dog wardens whose job is to patrol the borough's streets keeping a watchful eye on careless owners who let their pets foul the streets.'
    8. 'But others complain that foxes are digging up their gardens, fouling their lawns, attacking their pets and ripping open their garbage bags.'
    9. 'It follows a previous campaign which has seen fixed penalty notices handed out to owners who allow their dogs to foul the streets and in parks without clearing up after them.'
    10. 'Dog owners who refuse to clean up after their pets have fouled the streets of York have been reminded they risk a fine of up to £1,000.'
    11. 'Year six pupils at Arnside National School have designed warning posters to encourage dog owners to think twice about letting their dogs foul the village streets.'
    12. 'Now the wardens have received powers to slap £25 fixed penalty notices on litter louts and people who allow their dogs to foul the district's parks.'
    13. 'People on the path have also walked through the middle of outdoor lessons and sports activities and dog walkers have allowed their pets to foul the playground.'
    14. 'More than a hundred fines have now been issued to people who drop litter or let their dogs foul the pavement in Sheffield.'
    15. 'Her decision brought to an end many months of wrangling with some of the neighbours, who claimed her cats were fouling their gardens and making their lives hell.'
    16. 'On Monday, members of the town council recreation and amenities committee despaired over the number of owners who continue to let their dogs foul public places.'
    17. 'Sure, I'll still defecate in my pants, but now my excrement will be safely contained and no one need know that I have fouled myself in public.'
    18. 'For an enemy combatant to foul himself in a hot room is an unpleasant thing.'
    (in sport) commit a foul against (an opponent)
    1. 'The Reebok held its breath as Okocha strode forward to stroke the spot-kick wide to Kasey Keller's left after Spurs sub Gary Doherty had fouled Youri Djorkaeff.'
    2. 'As Collier tried to net from the rebound he was fouled and another penalty was awarded.'
    3. 'Haas is sent off after picking up another yellow for fouling Paul Scholes.'
    4. 'The Town keeper Darren O'Grady was obviously fouled as he went to catch a high punt with Gary Smyth tucking the loose ball into the unguarded net.'
    5. 'Rangers defender Khizanishvilli seemed to get the final touch but Larsson was deemed to have fouled De Boer to aid its passage.'
    6. 'This time Scholes is fouled, giving Beckham another chance to swing it in from the left.'
    7. 'Mark Hudson then hit the crossbar, Moyles was fouled and sub Tom Donovan converted the penalty as Celbridge ran out six point winners.'
    8. 'Silsden were given a lifeline when Hoyle was fouled and Rhodes dispatched another penalty.'
    9. 'It seemed the only way for Blackburn to stop Chelsea was to foul them, and Neill was booked for bringing Robben down as he surged goalwards.'
    10. 'Portland proceeded to foul O'Neal repeatedly, a familiar tactic and one that had often frustrated the big man.'
    (of a ship) collide with or interfere with the passage of (another)
    1. 'In The Edison [1933] AC 449, the appellants, whose vessel had been fouled by the respondents, claimed damages under various heads.'
    2. no object 'we feared the anchor would foul in the heavy grasses'
    3. 'The vessel's net entangled and fouled the 52-foot motor lifeboat's twin 36-inch brass propellers.'
    4. 'Earlier in the day, they were called to assist a fishing vessel when its propellor became fouled while fishing off Helvick.'
    5. 'Once fouled on the reefs, the nets go on fishing, killing sea turtles, fish, seabirds and other wildlife while destroying corals.'
    6. 'It is apparent that the wreck has been cleared to below deck level, with some additional damage to the starboard side of the hull, perhaps a consequence of the Silver Harvest fouling its anchor on the wreck in 1998.'


    1. grossly offensive to the senses; disgustingly loathsome; noisome: a foul smell.

    2. containing or characterized by offensive or noisome matter: foul air; foul stagnant water.

    3. filthy or dirty, as places, receptacles, clothes, etc.

    4. muddy, as a road.

    5. clogged or obstructed with foreign matter: a foul gas jet.

    6. unfavorable or stormy: foul weather.

    7. contrary, violent, or unfavorable, as the wind.

    8. grossly offensive in a moral sense. 9.

    More examples(as adjective)

    "people can be foul to people."

    "people can be foul at moments."

    "plays can be foul."

    "languages can be foul."

    "weathers can be foul."

    More examples++


    Old English fūl, of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse fúll ‘foul’, Dutch vuil ‘dirty’, and German faul ‘rotten, lazy’, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin pus, Greek puos ‘pus’, and Latin putere ‘to stink’.


    foul something up (or foul up)