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[fohl] /foʊl/
a young horse, mule, or related animal, especially one that is not yet one year of age.
verb (used with or without object)
to give birth to (a colt or filly).
Origin of foal
before 950; (noun) Middle English fole, Old English fola; cognate with Old High German folo (German Fohlen); akin to Latin pullus young animal, Greek pôlos foal; (v.) Middle English, derivative of the noun
Related forms
unfoaled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for foal
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For as the lion's whelp may be called a lion, or the horse's foal a foal, so the son of a king may be called a king.

    Cratylus Plato
  • His mare being with foal, he had chosen to make the tedious journey on foot.

    Earth's Enigmas Charles G. D. Roberts
  • In the course of their walk, they stopped to notice the gambols of an ass's foal.

    The Jest Book Mark Lemon
  • There was no staid mare to guard that foal with the dark devotion of her eye.

    Fraternity John Galsworthy
  • If he does not live, he is like a foal born lame in the springtime.

    Shaman Robert Shea
  • Then you must lay hands on the mare and foal and catch them.

    The Yellow Fairy Book Leonora Blanche Alleyne Lang
  • In the course of their walk they stopped to notice the gambols of an ass's foal.

    Heads and Tales Various
  • Marzetti's foal couldn't travel, and had to be killed at Bagot's Creek.

  • When Paul heard this he was so frightened he could hardly lead the foal.

British Dictionary definitions for foal


the young of a horse or related animal
to give birth to (a foal)
Word Origin
Old English fola; related to Old Frisian fola, Old High German folo foal, Latin pullus young creature, Greek pōlos foal
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for foal

Old English fola "foal, colt," from Proto-Germanic *fulon (cf. Old Saxon folo, Middle Dutch and Dutch veulen, Old Norse foli, Old Frisian fola, Old High German folo, German Fohlen, Gothic fula), from PIE *pulo- "young of an animal" (cf. Greek polos "foal," Latin pullus "a young animal," Albanian pele "mare"), from root *pau- "few, little" (see few).


"give birth (to a foal)," late 14c., from foal (n.). Related: Foaled; foaling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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