the state or quality of being foul: The foulness of the accusation incensed us all.
something that is foul; foul matter; filth.

Origin of foulness

before 1150; Middle English; Old English fūlnes. See foul, -ness Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for foulness

Contemporary Examples of foulness

Historical Examples of foulness

  • But not even that cloak could they cast upon their foulness.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • It has shut out from me all the foulness of that past; and yet I am unworthy.

    The Strolling Saint

    Raphael Sabatini

  • And doing it just as a hog wallows in foulness—for the love of it.

    The Lion's Skin

    Rafael Sabatini

  • Tell them of the foulness, of the cruelty, of the senselessness of it all.

  • "Yet they say this has to be done;" and he bowed under the weight of the foulness of this girl.

    En Route

    J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans

British Dictionary definitions for foulness



the state or quality of being foul
obscenity; vulgarity
viciousness or inhumanity
foul matter; filth



a flat marshy island in SE England, in Essex north of the Thames estuary
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 foulness

Old English fulness "foulness, filthy smell;" see foul (adj.) + -ness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper