• "Choked and strangled by the foul breath of the chimneys over there."
    "Choked and strangled by the foul breath of the chimneys over there."
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj fouled especially of a ship's lines etc "with its sails afoul","a foul anchor"
    • adj fouled made dirty or foul "a building befouled with soot","breathing air fouled and darkened with factory soot"
    • ***


  • William Shakespeare
    “For nothing can seem foul to those that win.”
  • Samuel Butler
    “Evil is like water, it abounds, is cheap, soon fouls, but runs itself clear of taint.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “Light is the first of painters. There is no object so foul that intense light will not make it beautiful.”
  • William Shakespeare
    “We wound our modesty and make foul the clearness of our deservings, when of ourselves we publish them.”
  • English Proverb
    English Proverb
    “Foul water will quench fire.”
  • Doug Horton
    “Perfection is perfectly simple; fouling things up requires true skill.”


Foul play - If the police suspect foul play, they think a crime was committed.
No harm, no foul - There's no problem when no harm or damage is done, such as the time my sister-in-law stole the name we'd chosen for a boy and we both ended up having girls.


In literature:

I could have fouled him, you know, but I didn't care to.
"The Willoughby Captains" by Talbot Baines Reed
I've given him nothing afore but foul words; but I'll give him no more.
"Frank Oldfield" by T.P. Wilson
Twilight in a chamber may reveal some foul things, and the growing light will disclose more.
"Expositions of Holy Scripture" by Alexander Maclaren
This discharge becomes thick and foul and when an investigation is made the button is found embedded firmly in the nose.
"The Eugenic Marriage, Volume IV. (of IV.)" by Grant Hague
How could I ever face those I loved, conscious of the marks of the foul lash on my back?
"Will Weatherhelm" by W.H.G. Kingston
Verily he is prudent that deemeth all earthly things foul so that he may win Christ.
"Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 6" by Charles H. Sylvester
Remember, Paul, this is not my seeking; but I'll have the truth by foul means or fair.
"Despair's Last Journey" by David Christie Murray
To these make clouds to pour down rain, With weather foul, then fair again.
"The Hesperides & Noble Numbers: Vol. 1 and 2" by Robert Herrick
Men had uttered foul calumnies concerning him merely because they believed him to be eccentric and unsociable.
"The Doctor of Pimlico" by William Le Queux
Effluvium: a foul or unpleasant smell or emanation.
"Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology" by John. B. Smith
Finally the god of war went forth and lifted a knife heated red hot and cut the foul cancer out of the body and saved the fair South.
"The Blot on the Kaiser's 'Scutcheon" by Newell Dwight Hillis
Does it not show that foul air and improper food are too much matters of course to excite attention?
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 105, July 1866" by Various
It was the foul paradox of egoism.
"Fantazius Mallare" by Ben Hecht
The mechanism is liable to get fouled and otherwise go out of order, so that they may change 0.300 in.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3" by Various
The rational foul kennels of excess!
"Young's Night Thoughts" by Edward Young
Who dares to cast so foul a stain on Count Rodolpho's name.
"Comic Tragedies" by Louisa M. Alcott
Locke whipped one over the inside corner, and Nuccio fouled.
"Lefty Locke Pitcher-Manager" by Burt L. Standish
The hawser was still foul among the lighters out in the stream, and a man had pulled over in a boat to help.
"The Hole in the Wall" by Arthur Morrison
By fair means or foul, it must be done.
"William Shakespeare as he lived." by Henry Curling
You have sat alone so long that you think all men outside are foul.
"She Buildeth Her House" by Will Comfort

In poetry:

"O ladye, this is thy owne true love,
As playnlye thou mayest see;
And Ile rid thee of that foule paynim,
Who partes thy love and thee."
"King Estmere" by Anonymous British
So once I dreamed. So idle was my mood;
But now, before these eyes,
From those foul trenches, black with blood,
What radiant legions rise!
"The Companions" by Alfred Noyes
So rich in words, in acts so mean;
So high, so low; chance-swung between
The foulness of the penal pit
And Truth's clear sky, millennium-lit!
"The Chapel of the Hermits" by John Greenleaf Whittier
You make my creed a barren sham, you wake
foul dreams of sensual life,
And Atys with his blood-stained knife were
better than the thing I am.
"The Sphinx" by Oscar Wilde
Yet do we still persist as we began,
And so should perish, but that nothing can,
Though it be cold, hard, foul, from loving man
Withhold thee.
"Sepulchre" by George Herbert
How long shall Slavery's iron grip,
And Prejudice's guilty hand,
Send forth, like blood-hounds from the slip,
Foul persecutions o'er the land?
"Prayer Of The Oppressed" by James Monroe Whitfield

In news:

Kelvin Kuo/US Presswire The Nets' Devin Harris being escorted from the court after he was ejected from the game in the first half for a foul on Blake Griffin.
According to an NBA statement, "Flopping will be defined as any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player.".
Reaction to Nate McLouth's 6th-inning fly ball in Game 5 of the ALDS A long foul ball or a game-tying home run.
Nate McLouth's deep fly ball to right field in the sixth inning of Game 5 was ruled foul, but replays fueled debate.
Fear itself is Howard's problem at foul line .
Richard Jefferson's offensive success is boosted when he's getting to the foul line .
One of the statistics that flew under the radar in the Spurs' season-opening victory over Indiana was Richard Jefferson's 10 foul shots.
'Fiscal cliff' threatens to foul up usual fix of alternative minimum tax.
Investigation should be launched into voting foul-up .
Another possible photo foul-up at the Democratic Convention.
The Drunk, Foul-Mouthed , Feminist Moral Compass of 'Political Animals'.
Why is my spark plug oil- fouled .
Near the end of the first half Trevor was dribbling the ball down field near the goal when he got fouled and went crashing down.
Today's Garden of Eden , Fouled by Adam and Eve.
Yellowcard, Good Charlotte, New Found Glory, Sum 41 -- those bands are pissing Kool-Aid into what was once a perfectly foul concoction of nastiness.

In science:

To do this, however, it will be necessary to devise some scheme for treating these very small scales that does not fall foul of the Courant time constraint discussed previously.
The First Stars
One particular setting is a referee deciding whether a player has committed a foul using his or her noisy observation as well as prior experience.
Quantization of Prior Probabilities for Hypothesis Testing
Players commit fouls at different rates; some players are dirtier or more aggressive than others.
Quantization of Prior Probabilities for Hypothesis Testing
It is this rate which is the prior probability for the ‘foul committed’ state.
Quantization of Prior Probabilities for Hypothesis Testing
Let us consider the particular setting for human decision making mentioned in Section I: a referee determining whether a player has committed a foul or not using both his or her noisy observation and prior experience.
Quantization of Prior Probabilities for Hypothesis Testing
The fraction of plays in which a player commits a foul is that player’s prior probability for h1 .
Quantization of Prior Probabilities for Hypothesis Testing
There are similar own-race bias effects in the decision by police to search a vehicle during a traffic stop , in the decision of human resource professionals to not hire , and in the decision of National Basketball Association (NBA) referees to call a foul .
Quantization of Prior Probabilities for Hypothesis Testing
The rate of searching, the rate of not hiring, and the rate of foul calling are all greater when the decision-maker is of a different race than the driver, applicant, and player, respectively. A major difficulty in interpreting these econometric studies, howe ver, is that the ground truth is not known.
Quantization of Prior Probabilities for Hypothesis Testing
Since ground truth is lacking in econometric studies, it is not clear how to interpret a finding that white referees call more fouls on black players and that black referees call more fouls on white players.
Quantization of Prior Probabilities for Hypothesis Testing
Looking at the average performance of a white referee over the populations of black and white players, we compare the expected foul rates on whites and blacks (Kb < Kw ): ∆ = E hPr[ ˆHKb = h1 ] − Pr[ ˆHKw = h1 ]i .
Quantization of Prior Probabilities for Hypothesis Testing
If this discrimination quantity ∆ is greater than zero, then the white referee is calling more fouls on blacks.
Quantization of Prior Probabilities for Hypothesis Testing
If ∆ is less than zero, then the referee is calling more fouls on whites.
Quantization of Prior Probabilities for Hypothesis Testing
If the prior distribution and measurement model are fixed, an d the MBRE-optimal quantizer used, we find that the regions in the c10 -c01 plane where a white referee would call more fouls on blacks and where a white referee would call more fouls on whites are half-planes.
Quantization of Prior Probabilities for Hypothesis Testing
The choice of Bayes costs with c01 greater than c10 implies that a referee can tolerate more instances of calling fouls on plays that are not fouls rather than the opposite.
Quantization of Prior Probabilities for Hypothesis Testing
However, as discussed earlier, any such choice will necessarily fall foul of the spacetime problem whose resolution requires an internal time to be a functional of the conjugate momenta pcd(x) as well as the metric variables gab (x).
Canonical Quantum Gravity and the Problem of Time