befoul

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v befoul spot, stain, or pollute "The townspeople defiled the river by emptying raw sewage into it"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Befoul To entangle or run against so as to impede motion.
    • Befoul To make foul; to soil.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • befoul To make foul; cover with filth; soil; tarnish.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Befoul be-fowl′ to make foul: to soil.
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Quotations

  • Georges Bataille
    Georges%20Bataille
    “Beauty is desired in order that it may be befouled; not for its own sake, but for the joy brought by the certainty of profaning it.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. AS. beflan,; pref. be-, + flan, to foul. See Foul (a.)

Usage

In literature:

It was always they, not he, who had befouled the stream.
"Theodoric the Goth" by Thomas Hodgkin
The sleepy proprietor brought a kerosene lamp, the chimney befouled with soot and grease.
"The Seventh Noon" by Frederick Orin Bartlett
You see I have put gloves on, that I may not befoul myself by touching you.
"Debts of Honor" by Maurus Jókai
His face whitened with rage, and striding up to Warner he pointed to the befouled whiteness of the deck.
"Edward Barry" by Louis Becke
The thing was hideously befouled, besmirched, lying there in that black swamp water, mute, helpless, utterly broken.
"Stubble" by George Looms
As I looked I saw that his hand was befouled with gore, and that the brown stream did rush away ruddily from beneath his fingers.
"A Brother To Dragons and Other Old-time Tales" by Amelie Rives
Miles away they could see smoke befouling the blue of the sky.
"'Firebrand' Trevison" by Charles Alden Seltzer
Fox had stumbled in the mire, and had not only been defeated, but befouled.
"Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3)" by Thomas Babington Macaulay
So low were the latter set, and so small were they, that a well-grown man must have stooped low to peer through the befouled glass panes.
"The Law-Breakers" by Ridgwell Cullum
It seems as if the livid and sooty fog had even befouled the verdure of the parks.
"Dickens' London" by Francis Miltoun
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In poetry:

You whom the kings saluted; who refused not
The one great pleasure of ignoble days,
Fame without name and glory without gossip,
Whom no biographer befouls with praise.
"To the Unknown Warrior" by Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Between the blackened curbs lie stacked the harvest of the skies,
Long lines of frozen, grimy cocks befouled by city feet;
On either side the racing throngs, the crowding cliffs, the cries,
And ceaseless winds that eddy down to whip the iron street.
"The Winter Harvest" by Lloyd Roberts

In news:

Vandals lately have been marauding through Green-Wood Cemetery, the historic gem atop the heights of Brooklyn, toppling and shattering dozens of gravestones, befouling mausoleums and beheading a marble angel at the grave of a 5-year-old boy.
The veep nod befouls everything.
Sadly, the model also indicates the tuna are spawning there right now—and that the hotspots lie in waters befouled by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Befouled Waters Stymie Would-Be Swimmers.
The heatwave this weekend pushed many New Yorkers to their local pools and beaches, but unfortunately, some destinations were too befouled for bathing.
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