foil

1
[ foil ]
/ fɔɪl /
||

verb (used with object)

to prevent the success of; frustrate; balk: Loyal troops foiled his attempt to overthrow the government.
to keep (a person) from succeeding in an enterprise, plan, etc.

noun

Archaic. a defeat; check; repulse.

Nearby words

  1. foh,
  2. foi,
  3. foia,
  4. foible,
  5. foie gras,
  6. foilborne,
  7. foiled,
  8. foilsman,
  9. foin,
  10. foism

Origin of foil

1
1250–1300; Middle English foilen, < Anglo-French foller, Old French fuler to trample, full (cloth). See full2

Related formsfoil·a·ble, adjectiveun·foil·a·ble, adjective

foil

2
[ foil ]
/ fɔɪl /

noun

verb (used with object)

to cover or back with foil.
to set off by contrast.

Origin of foil

2
1350–1400; Middle English foille, foil < Old French fuelle, fueille, foille (< Latin folia leaves), fuel, fueil, foil (< Latin folium leaf, blade)

foil

3
[ foil ]
/ fɔɪl /

noun Fencing.

a flexible four-sided rapier having a blunt point.
foils, the art or practice of fencing with this weapon, points being made by touching the trunk of the opponent's body with the tip of the weapon.

Origin of foil

3
First recorded in 1585–95; origin uncertain

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for foil


British Dictionary definitions for foil

foil

1
/ (fɔɪl) /

verb (tr)

to baffle or frustrate (a person, attempt, etc)
hunting (of hounds, hunters, etc) to obliterate the scent left by a hunted animal or (of a hunted animal) to run back over its own trail
archaic to repulse or defeat (an attack or assailant)

noun

hunting any scent that obscures the trail left by a hunted animal
archaic a setback or defeat
Derived Formsfoilable, adjective

Word Origin for foil

C13 foilen to trample, from Old French fouler, from Old French fuler tread down, full ²

noun

verb (tr)

to back or cover with foil
Also: foliate architect to ornament (windows) with foils

Word Origin for foil

C14: from Old French foille, from Latin folia leaves, plural of folium

noun

a light slender flexible sword tipped by a button and usually having a bell-shaped guard

Word Origin for foil

C16: of unknown origin

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 foil
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper