• synonyms


verb (used with object)
  1. to make dirty or filthy; soil; defile; sully: a bird that befouls its own nest.
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Origin of befoul

First recorded in 1275–1325, befoul is from the Middle English word bi-foulen. See be-, foul
Related formsbe·foul·er, nounbe·foul·ment, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for befouled

Historical Examples

  • See to my gown, the third that I have befouled within the week.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Marry, thy jerkin is all befouled with the dust of the road.

  • Fox had stumbled in the mire, and had not only been defeated, but befouled.

  • You cannot tell what it is to crouch here, befouled as I am, for a man to see.

  • You put up with his ill-usage and infidelities until he befouled your home.

    Mrs. Thompson

    William Babington Maxwell

British Dictionary definitions for befouled


  1. (tr) to make dirty or foul; soil; defile
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Derived Formsbefouler, nounbefoulment, noun
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

Word Origin and History for befouled



early 14c., from be- + foul (v.). Related: Befouled; befouling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper