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 formsun·foaled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for foal

offspring, fledgling, colt, filly

Examples from the Web for foal

Contemporary Examples of foal

Historical Examples of foal

  • 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.

  • 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.


    John Galsworthy

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


    Robert Shea

British Dictionary definitions for foal



the young of a horse or related animal


to give birth to (a foal)

Word Origin for foal

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

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