1

foil

play
verb \ ˈfȯi(-ə)l \

Definition of foil

transitive verb
1 obsolete :trample
2 a :to prevent from attaining an end :defeat
  • always able to foil her enemies
  • Her accident foiled her from becoming a dancer.
b :to bring to naught :thwart
  • foiled the plot
  • Police foiled an attempted robbery.

Origin and Etymology of foil

Middle English, alteration of fullen to full cloth, from Anglo-French foller — more at full

Synonym Discussion of foil

frustrate, thwart, foil, baffle, balk mean to check or defeat another's plan or block achievement of a goal. frustrate implies making vain or ineffectual all efforts however vigorous or persistent.
    • frustrated attempts at government reform
thwart suggests frustration or checking by crossing or opposing.
    • the army thwarted his attempt at a coup
foil implies checking or defeating so as to discourage further effort.
    • foiled by her parents, he stopped trying to see her
baffle implies frustration by confusing or puzzling.
    • baffled by the maze of rules and regulations
balk suggests the interposing of obstacles or hindrances.
    • officials felt that legal restrictions had balked their efforts to control crime

2

foil

noun

Definition of foil

1 archaic :defeat
2 archaic :the track or trail of an animal

Origin and Etymology of foil

see 1foil


3

foil

noun

Definition of foil

1 :very thin sheet metal
  • aluminum foil
2 :a thin piece of material (such as metal) put under an inferior or paste stone to add color or brilliance
3 :someone or something that serves as a contrast to another
  • acted as a foil for a comedian
4 a :an indentation between cusps in Gothic tracery
b :one of several arcs that enclose a complex figure
5 :hydrofoil 1

Origin and Etymology of foil

Middle English, leaf, from Anglo-French fuille, foille (from Latin folia, plural of folium) & fuil, from Latin folium — more at blade

Other Metals and Metallurgy Terms


4

foil

verb

Definition of foil

transitive verb
1 :to back or cover with foil
2 :to enhance by contrast

First Known Use of foil

1611


5

foil

noun

Definition of foil

1 :a light fencing sword having a usually circular guard and a flexible blade of rectangular section tapering to a blunted point — compare épée, saber
2 :the art or sport of fencing with the foil often used in plural

Origin and Etymology of foil

origin unknown

Other Combat Sports Terms



FOIL Defined for Kids

1

foil

play
verb \ ˈfȯil \

Definition of foil for Students

foiled; foiling
:to prevent from achieving a goal
  • Police foiled the bank robbery.

2

foil

noun

Definition of foil for Students

:a very thin sheet of metal
  • aluminum foil

3

foil

noun

Definition of foil for Students

:a fencing sword having a light flexible blade with a blunt point

Medical Dictionary

foil

play
noun \ ˈfȯil \

medical Definition of foil

:very thin sheet metal (as of gold or platinum) used especially in filling teeth


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