• synonyms


  1. a young horse, mule, or related animal, especially one that is not yet one year of age.
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verb (used with or without object)
  1. to give birth to (a colt or filly).
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for foaling

Historical Examples of foaling

  • The prodigy connected with this siege of Babylon was the foaling of a mule.

    Darius the Great

    Jacob Abbott

  • She will be the better for light working till near the time of foaling, if well, but not too abundantly fed.

    Domestic Animals

    Richard L. Allen

  • The mare should be left quite to herself when foaling, except in extreme cases, which fortunately very rarely occur.

    Riding for Ladies

    Mrs. Power O'Donoghue

  • Mares most readily conceive when served at the “foal heat” eleven days after foaling.

  • A brood mare requires plenty of exercise at a slow pace and may work, except between shafts or on a road, till the day of foaling.

British Dictionary definitions for foaling


  1. the young of a horse or related animal
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  1. to give birth to (a foal)
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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 foaling



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).

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper