• WordNet 3.6
    • v foil cover or back with foil "foil mirrors"
    • v foil hinder or prevent (the efforts, plans, or desires) of "What ultimately frustrated every challenger was Ruth's amazing September surge","foil your opponent"
    • v foil enhance by contrast "In this picture, the figures are foiled against the background"
    • n foil a light slender flexible sword tipped by a button
    • n foil a piece of thin and flexible sheet metal "the photographic film was wrapped in foil"
    • n foil picture consisting of a positive photograph or drawing on a transparent base; viewed with a projector
    • n foil a device consisting of a flat or curved piece (as a metal plate) so that its surface reacts to the water it is passing through "the fins of a fish act as hydrofoils"
    • n foil anything that serves by contrast to call attention to another thing's good qualities "pretty girls like plain friends as foils"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The reason why the Canadian Arctic is called the "Land of the Midnight Sun" is because during the summer many communities have light 24 hours of the day. Many people have to cover their windows with tin foil to keep the light out when they sleep
    • Foil A blunt weapon used in fencing, resembling a smallsword in the main, but usually lighter and having a button at the point. "Blunt as the fencer's foils , which hit, but hurt not.""Isocrates contended with a foil against Demosthenes with a word."
    • Foil A leaf or very thin sheet of metal; as, brass foil; tin foil; gold foil.
    • Foil A thin coat of tin, with quicksilver, laid on the back of a looking-glass, to cause reflection.
    • Foil (Jewelry) A thin leaf of sheet copper silvered and burnished, and afterwards coated with transparent colors mixed with isinglass; -- employed by jewelers to give color or brilliancy to pastes and inferior stones.
    • Foil Anything that serves by contrast of color or quality to adorn or set off another thing to advantage. "As she a black silk cap on him began
      To set, for foil of his milk-white to serve."
      "Hector has a foil to set him off."
    • Foil Failure of success when on the point of attainment; defeat; frustration; miscarriage. "Nor e'er was fate so near a foil ."
    • Foil (Arch) The space between the cusps in Gothic architecture; a rounded or leaflike ornament, in windows, niches, etc. A group of foils is called trefoil, quatrefoil, quinquefoil, etc., according to the number of arcs of which it is composed.
    • Foil The track or trail of an animal.
    • Foil To blunt; to dull; to spoil; as, to foil the scent in chase.
    • v. t Foil To defile; to soil.
    • Foil To render (an effort or attempt) vain or nugatory; to baffle; to outwit; to balk; to frustrate; to defeat. "And by mortal man at length am foiled.""Her long locks that foil the painter's power."
    • Foil To tread under foot; to trample. "King Richard . . . caused the ensigns of Leopold to be pulled down and foiled under foot.""Whom he did all to pieces breake and foyle , In filthy durt, and left so in the loathely soyle."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Bananas were officially introduced to the American public at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition. Each banana was wrapped in foil and sold for 10 cents. Before that time, bananas came to America on the decks of sailing ships as sailors took a few stems home after traveling in the Caribbean.
    • n foil A leaf, as of a plant.
    • n foil A metallic substance formed into very thin sheets by rolling and hammering: as, gold, tin, or lead foil. Gold foil is beaten out to the utmost tenuity. Tin foil has a slight alloy of copper, lead, etc. Dutch foil is made by rolling a plate of copper coated with silver into thin sheets, polishing the silver surface, varnishing it, and then laying on a coat of transparent color mixed with isinglass. A variegated Japanese foil is made by combining thin sheets of different metals in a single plate, which is so treated that the different metals or alloys show in the completed sheet like the lines or figures on a Damascus blade. These sheets are extremely flexible, and can be stamped, engraved, etc., for decorative use.
    • n foil In jewelry, a thin leaf of metal placed under a precious stone to change its color, or to give it more color in case of its being inferior in that respect, or to give it additional luster by the reflection of light from the surface of the metal. Much old jewelry is made with thin and poor stones, to which effect is given by this means.
    • n foil Leaf-metal placed behind translucent enamel for the same purpose as that used for precious stones. (See def. 3.) In this sense often called paillon (which see). Hence Anything of a different color or of different qualities which serves to adorn or set off another thing to advantage; that which, by comparison or contrast, sets off or shows more conspicuously the superiority of something else.
    • n foil An amalgam of tin with quicksilver laid on one side of a sheet of glass to produce a reflecting surface in making a mirror.
    • n foil In medieval architecture, a small arc in the tracery of a window, panel, etc., which is said to be trefoiled, quatrefoiled, cinquefoiled, multifoiled, etc., according to the number of arcs which it contains.
    • foil To trample upon; tread under foot.
    • foil To blunt; dull; deaden: as, to foil the scent in a chase.
    • foil To frustrate; baffle; mislead; render vain or nugatory, as an effort or attempt; thwart; balk: as, the enemy was foiled in his attempt to pass the river.
    • foil This your courtesy
    • foil Synonyms Thwart, Baffle, etc. See frustrate.
    • n foil The track or trail of game when pursued.
    • n foil Defeat; frustration; failure when on the point of achievement.
    • n foil In wrestling, a partial fall; a fall not complete according to the rules.
    • n foil A bated or blunted sword used in fencing-practice and friendly contests; now, usually, an implement used in fencing-schools, for small-sword practice only. It has a blade of small quadrangular section, a button on the point, and for the guard two open lunettes or loops, which it is common to reinforce by “shells” of thick leather. The French fencing-masters and amateurs distinguish between the fleuret or light foil and the épée d'escrime, which is like the dueling-sword or épée de combat, except in having a buttoned point, and is therefore much heavier than the fleuret. See fleuret.
    • foil To defile: same as file, foul.
    • foil In hunting, of an animal, to retrace its own track for the purpose of baffling the hounds; ‘run the foil.’ See foil, n.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The berry butterflies (hypsa monycha) of Singapore, in their caterpillar stage, group around the top of a stem to foil predatory birds by imitating the appearance of a poisonous berry.
    • v.t Foil foil to defeat: to puzzle: to disappoint:
    • pr.p Foil foil′ing; pa.p. foiled
    • n Foil failure after success seemed certain: defeat: a blunt sword used in fencing, having a button on the point
    • n Foil foil a leaf or thin plate of metal, as tin-foil: a thin leaf of metal put under precious stones to increase their lustre or change their colour: anything that serves to set off something else: a small arc in the tracery of a window, &c. (trefoiled, cinquefoiled, multifoiled, &c.)
    • v.t Foil foil (Spens.) to beat down or trample with the feet
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. foil, leaf, OF. foil, fuil, fueil, foille, fueille, F. feuille, fr. L. folium, pl. folia,; akin to Gr. , and perh. to E. blade,. Cf. Foliage Folio
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. fuler, to stamp or crush—Low L. fullarefullo, a fuller of cloth.


In literature:

We're just in time to help foil the villain.
"The Claim Jumpers" by Stewart Edward White
Apollyon encounters Christian, by whom, after a severe contest, he is foiled (1678).
"Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama, Vol 1" by The Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D.
I think I have foiled her.
"The Wrong Twin" by Harry Leon Wilson
Note large unique foiled piscina built into the E. wall of the church, and Norm.
"Somerset" by G.W. Wade and J.H. Wade
The sweet face foiled him.
"The Pretty Lady" by Arnold E. Bennett
But the whole phrase is a mere foil to the pure melody of the former plaint that now returns in lower strings.
"Symphonies and Their Meaning; Third Series, Modern Symphonies" by Philip H. Goepp
In this I was foiled.
"History of Kershaw's Brigade" by D. Augustus Dickert
Antonyms: paste, strass, gewgaw, gimcrack, tinsel, pinchbeck, gaud, bauble, foil stone.
"Putnam's Word Book" by Louis A. Flemming
We fenced for our own amusement and we kept the buttons on the foils.
"Don Orsino" by F. Marion Crawford
Here the attack was foiled, and foiled so decidedly, that the ditch was actually half filled with corpses.
"Alfgar the Dane or the Second Chronicle of Aescendune" by A. D. Crake

In poetry:

“The sweetest death is the red death
That comes up nakedly,
And the tree that has the foiled heart
It is the loving tree.
"The Loving Tree" by John Shaw Neilson
Ye are born to do the toiling;
On and on—and no recoiling!
To the fighting, to the foiling
Of the wrongs that wrong us here.
"The Distant Drum" by Henry Lawson
And now with joy his heart strings swell,
And blest he deems his lot;
For the foil'd tyger as he fell,
A latent marksman shot.
"The Elephant" by William Hayley
And so they bear with dance and song,
And crimson foil and green,
They wearily sit, and grimly long
For the Transformation Scene.
"At a Pantomime." by William Schwenck Gilbert
And take unerring measure down
Where'er that plan is failed or foiled,
Thinking far less of purpose kept
Than of a vision spoiled.
"Three Friends" by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward
The women three walked on their way,
Their shamed eyes could see
How well the tree with the foiled heart
Is still the loving tree.
"The Loving Tree" by John Shaw Neilson

In news:

Is Michele Bachmann's Spine Made of Titanium, or Tin Foil .
She wore a hat that looked like one that children would fold together from newspaper, except it seemed to be made from tin foil .
"So what's with the tin foil hat.".
Jones, Science Trickster Who Foiled Nazis, Dies at 86.
Swanson's original 1953 TV Brand Frozen Dinner came in an aluminum foil tray with three sections.
Wax paper , it sits in the drawer next to your foil and plastic wrap, but how often does it get used.
Wax paper, it sits in the drawer next to your foil and plastic wrap, but how often does it get used.
It looks like aluminum foil or the inside or the space ship.
Vishay Precision Group, Inc announced that its Vishay Foil Resistors brand (VFR) has released a new series of ultra-high-precision Bulk Metal Z1-Foil wraparound , surface-mount chip resistors for high-temperature applications up to +200°C.
Pioneer, Zealot , Dramatic Foil The Nation.
That's what apparently foiled a counterfeiter from Rhode Island.
A day after news broke that the CIA foiled a new al-Qaida plot to bomb an airliner, the official responses were low key on Tuesday.
IPath Pure Beta Aluminum ETN (FOIL).
Bradley Cooper entered the public imagination as a sniveling bully in The Wedding Crashers, playing foil to Owen Wilson's conflicted scam artist.
Southwest Missouri police foiled a potential mass shooting at a movie theater or retail store with the arrest of a 20-year-old Bolivar man, according to court records released Friday.

In science:

SSDs, but instead with a thickness of lead (Pb) foil.
A Search for Gamma-Ray Bursts and Pulsars, and the Application of Kalman Filters to Gamma-Ray Reconstruction
The angle between the beam plane and the foil is very small, approximatively 3 degrees.
Intense Source of Slow Positrons
TR production is simulated tuning a regular foil stack configuration to reproduce the measurements.
Transition Radiation Spectroscopy with Prototypes of the ALICE TRD
To study the potential of TPCs with GEM foils for gas amplification, a small TPC prototype has been built at DESY.
High Magnetic Field Performance of a GEM-TPC
A small TPC prototype with GEM foils for gas amplification has been successfully built to measure the single point resolution in high magnetic fields.
High Magnetic Field Performance of a GEM-TPC