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adj. foul·er, foul·est
a. Offensive to the senses; revolting: "a foul little creature with greedy eyes and slobbering mouth" (J.R.R. Tolkien).
b. Having a bad odor or taste: foul breath; food that tasted foul.
c. Rotten or putrid: foul meat.
a. Containing dirt, impurities, or other foreign matter; foul water.
b. Clogged or bestrewn with unwanted material: The bay is foul with old sunken vessels.
c. Overgrown or encrusted with weeds, barnacles, or other organisms. Used of a ship's bottom.
d. Entangled or enwrapped: a foul anchor.
a. Morally detestable; wicked: foul deeds.
b. Vulgar or obscene: foul language.
c. Violating accepted standards or rules; dishonorable: used foul means to gain power.
a. Very disagreeable or displeasing; horrid: a foul movie.
b. Inclement or unfavorable: in fair weather or foul.
c. Irritable or upset: in a foul mood.
a. Sports Contrary to the rules of a game or sport: a foul boxing punch.
b. Baseball Outside the foul lines: a foul fly ball.
6. Marked with editorial changes or corrections: foul copy.
7. Archaic Ugly; unattractive.
1. Abbr. F
a. Sports An infraction or a violation of the rules of play.
b. Baseball A foul ball.
2. An entanglement or a collision.
3. An instance of clogging or obstructing.
4. A foul copy of a document.
In a foul manner.
v. fouled, foul·ing, fouls
1. To make dirty or foul; pollute. See Synonyms at contaminate.
2. To bring into dishonor; besmirch.
3. To clog or obstruct.
4. To entangle or catch (a rope, for example).
5. To encrust (a ship's hull) with foreign matter, such as barnacles.
a. Sports To commit a foul against.
b. Baseball To hit (a ball) outside the foul lines.
1. To become foul.
a. Sports To commit a foul.
b. Baseball To hit a ball outside the foul lines: fouled twice and then struck out; fouled out to the catcher.
3. To become entangled or twisted: The anchor line fouled on a rock.
4. To become clogged or obstructed.
Phrasal Verbs:
foul out
Sports To be put out of a game for exceeding the number of permissible fouls.
foul up
To blunder or cause to blunder because of mistakes or poor judgment.

[Middle English, from Old English fūl; see pū̆- in Indo-European roots.]

foul′ly adv.
foul′ness n.


1. the state or quality of being foul
2. obscenity; vulgarity
3. viciousness or inhumanity
4. foul matter; filth


(Placename) a flat marshy island in SE England, in Essex north of the Thames estuary
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.foulness - disgusting wickedness and immorality; "he understood the foulness of sin"; "his display of foulness deserved severe punishment"; "mouths which speak such foulness must be cleansed"
iniquity, wickedness, dark, darkness - absence of moral or spiritual values; "the powers of darkness"
2.foulness - a state characterized by foul or disgusting dirt and refusefoulness - a state characterized by foul or disgusting dirt and refuse
unsanitariness - a state that is not conducive to health
3.foulness - (of weather) the badness of the weather; "they were wearied with the foulness of the weather"
severeness, severity, badness - used of the degree of something undesirable e.g. pain or weather
4.foulness - the attribute of having a strong offensive smellfoulness - the attribute of having a strong offensive smell
aroma, odor, olfactory property, odour, smell, scent - any property detected by the olfactory system
B.O., body odor, body odour - malodorousness resulting from a failure to bathe




(= disgusting nature, of place, food, taste, smell, breath) → Widerlichkeit f; (of water)Fauligkeit f; (of air)Stickigkeit f
(= dreadfulness) (of behaviour, crime)Abscheulichkeit f; (of day, weather)Scheußlichkeit f (inf); the foulness of his behaviour (Brit) or behavior (US) to her, his foulness to hersein gemeines Verhalten or seine Gemeinheit ihr gegenüber; the foulness of her moodihre ganz üble Laune; the foulness of her temperihre schreckliche Übellaunigkeit
(of language)Unflätigkeit f
References in periodicals archive ?
The free load came courtesy of fellow NFU members and arable farmers Rob Stacey and Roger Burroughs from West Hanningfield and Foulness Island.
Every day the pub on Foulness Island in Essex shakes and rattles as heavy artillery starts blasting shells on to the mud flats in the Thames Estuary.
He has asked the Government to look into the blasts at ranges at Shoeburyness and Foulness Island in Essex.