, while filthy and foul describe disgusting obscenity or loathsome behavior
filthy street language
a foul story of lust and greed
, and nasty implies a peculiarly offensive unpleasantness.
a stand-up comedian known for nasty humor
Distinctively, squalid implies sordidness as well as baseness and dirtiness.
engaged in a series of squalid affairs
Examples of foul in a Sentence
the foul odor of rotten eggs
The medicine left a foul taste in my mouth.
The weather has been foul all week. Noun
He hit several fouls in a row. Verb
pollutants that foul the air
She fouled on her first long jump attempt.
He was fouled as he attempted the shot.
He kept fouling pitches into the stands. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Symptoms may include vaginal irritation, thin grayish discharge, and a fishy or foul odor.—Dominique Fluker, Essence, 6 Oct. 2023 Their coronavirus infections had cleared up, but the patients were met with a grim reality: Scents that were once pleasant had suddenly become foul.—Aria Bendix, NBC News, 20 Nov. 2023 These sounded foul, but everyone, they had been assured, loved them.—Emma Cline, The New Yorker, 23 Oct. 2023 Nelson Cruz keeps it fair, helps put away Tigers
Orioles fans erupt in the sixth inning as a fly ball by Nelson Cruz hugs the right field foul pole and lands in the first row of the stands in Detroit for a two-run home run.—Mike Klingaman, Baltimore Sun, 19 Sep. 2023 The pair own Return to Nature Funeral Home in the small town of Penrose, where an investigation was launched early October, when the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office responded to reports of a foul odor coming from the facility, authorities said.—Nicole Acosta, Peoplemag, 8 Nov. 2023 An investigation was launched in October when the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office received reports of a foul odor coming from the funeral home's facility in Penrose.—Pilar Arias, Fox News, 8 Nov. 2023 These easy at-home tricks might get the smell out of your shoes and prevent foul odors.—Dwyer Frame, Health, 31 Oct. 2023 Dave the Diver on Switch - October 26th Ghostrunner 2 - October 26th
Alan Wake 2 - October 27th
Thirteen years after the first game’s launch, Alan Wake is back to solve murders most foul.—Ash Parrish, The Verge, 29 Sep. 2023
Laurel picked up intensity in the second half and drew three fouls just outside the box, but shots by Christopher Duran-Escobar and Ramirez-Quincin were off the mark.—Craig Clary, Baltimore Sun, 13 Sep. 2023 Teams will reach the bonus when their opponent commits five fouls in each quarter and team fouls will reset at the end of each quarter.—Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times, 2 Nov. 2023 Good: After struggling to get to the line against Arizona State, SDSU drew 26 fouls and attempted 32 free throws.—Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Oct. 2023 Rabid fans of both clubs were treated to a rough-and-tumble 90 minutes marked by seven yellow cards and 26 fouls.—Sasha Richie, Dallas News, 30 July 2023 Plus, the non-slip bottom helps prevent any party foul.—Carrie Honaker, Southern Living, 27 Sep. 2023 Blackburn was flagged for pass interference and nickel back Ayden Hector was assessed a foul for unsportsmanlike conduct.—Julianne McShane, NBC News, 19 Sep. 2023 During a game between the Nuggets and the Heat, Markieff Morris committed a hard foul on Nikola.—Jacklyn Krol, Peoplemag, 10 Sep. 2023 After the Lakers’ overtime loss, Lewis told a pool reporter that a foul should have been called on Tatum at the end of regulation.—Chuck Schilken, Los Angeles Times, 30 Aug. 2023
But as this was still the ICE age, the mass adoption of car use fouled the air.—Carlton Reid, WIRED, 14 Oct. 2023 As George rose up for a three-pointer, Reddish fouled the forward with 17 seconds left in the fourth.—Broderick Turner, Los Angeles Times, 2 Nov. 2023 The discrepancy could indicate that scientists are missing something, such as the presence of a unique particle or field that could be fouling some of the measurements.—Christine Condon, Baltimore Sun, 13 Sep. 2023 Seven minutes later, Australia got a penalty kick when Romo fouled Riley McGree inside the box.—Abraham Nudelstejer, Dallas News, 10 Sep. 2023 Carvajal did not issue a yellow card until the 92nd minute, when Katrina Gorry fouled Karchaoui.—Frank Dell'apa, BostonGlobe.com, 12 Aug. 2023 One downside, however, is that those wire arms can also foul your surf fishing rig more easily than a pyramid sinker.—Joe Cermele, Field & Stream, 26 Oct. 2023 In a game against the Padres on July 4, Trout fractured his left hamate bone and Rendon fouled a pitch so hard off his shin that his tibia fractured (a diagnosis not revealed to members of the media until September).—Sarah Valenzuela, Los Angeles Times, 1 Oct. 2023 Carpenter’s free pass was especially suspenseful, as the lefty fouled off three straight sinkers before Peralta missed low and away on the eighth pitch of the at-bat to load the bases.—Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, 7 Sep. 2023
Felsen called foul, arguing in court papers that the term went beyond prosecutors’ request for enough time to complete the youth program.—Dan Morse, Washington Post, 9 Sep. 2023 Miller got a couple assists in the next at-bat, when Tigers slugger Spencer Torkelson first pulled a potential grand slam just foul, then hit a line drive in the gap that was snared by center fielder James Outman with a spectacular, diving catch.—Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 21 Sep. 2023 However, musical genres such as reggaeton, popularized by artists such as Bad Bunny, could fall foul, after drawing criticism in some quarters for explicit and sexist lyrics.—Jack Guy, CNN, 2 Aug. 2023 Josef Martinez cut the deficit with a penalty kick in the 84th minute, after an Andrew Farrell foul attempting a clearance.—Frank Dell'apa, BostonGlobe.com, 10 June 2023 His grand slam off Gavin Guidry in the third was a high fly that looked to be headed foul, but the 20-mph wind blowing left to right pushed it inside the left-field foul pole.—Eric Olson, ajc, 26 June 2023 Yet even with both starters firing strikes — not a walk between them — they were gone after six innings, the hitters lashing foul after foul and running up their pitch counts.—Tyler Kepner, New York Times, 15 June 2023 Here's a video of Alek Manoah trying to blow a Jeremy Peña bunt foul.—Ian Harrison, BostonGlobe.com, 5 June 2023 Shaquille O’Neal is calling foul on the lawyers who chased him for months to serve a lawsuit accusing the basketball legend of duping investors in FTX crypto exchange.—Joel Rosenblatt, Fortune, 9 May 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'foul.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Adjective and Noun
Middle English, from Old English fūl; akin to Old High German fūl rotten, Latin pus pus, putēre to stink, Greek pyon pus
First Known Use
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4