foul line


Definition of foul line

1 : either of two straight lines extending from the rear corner of home plate through the outer corners of first and third base respectively and prolonged to the boundary of a baseball field
2 : a line across a bowling alley that a player must not step over when delivering the ball
3 : either of two lines on a basketball court parallel to and 15 feet from the backboards behind which a player must stand while shooting a free throw

Examples of foul line in a Sentence

The ball landed just inside the right-field foul line.
Recent Examples on the Web Davenport, who is shooting 83% (5-for-6) from the foul line, is expected to be Cincinnati's biggest and most consistent offensive threat this season. Keith Jenkins, The Enquirer, 15 Nov. 2021 Odom finished with 20 points and went 10 of 10 from the foul line. Adam Baum, The Enquirer, 6 Nov. 2021 Instead, there was gratification without gesticulation after his 15 of 17 from the foul line in Tuesday night’s victory over the Dallas Mavericks, part of an early-season trend for the Miami Heat forward. Ira Winderman,, 4 Nov. 2021 After going 5-of-21 — one of the 20 worst shooting performances of his career — two nights earlier against the Lakers in Los Angeles, Curry went 16-of-25 from the floor Thursday, 8-of-13 from 3-point range, and 5-of-5 from the foul line. Rusty Simmons, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 Oct. 2021 There are great players—Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan, Wilt Chamberlain—who shot terribly from the foul line while still leading their teams to titles. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, 3 Oct. 2021 Alzolay caught a break when Tucker Barnhart’s shot into the right-field corner with a man on blew back toward the stands, took an unusually high bounce off the dirt track near the foul line and went over the high wall and into the seats. Paul Sullivan,, 28 May 2021 The ball landed near the foul line and kicked right, hopping over the wall in foul territory. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 23 Apr. 2021 Casey chased the ball, battling the sun along the way, and initially appeared to make the catch near the foul line. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, 7 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'foul line.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of foul line

1870, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About foul line

Time Traveler for foul line

Time Traveler

The first known use of foul line was in 1870

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near foul line

fouling shot

foul line

foul mouth

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for foul line

Last Updated

21 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Foul line.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for foul line

foul line


English Language Learners Definition of foul line

: either one of two straight lines that go from home plate through first and third base on to the edge of the outfield
: a line from which a player shoots free throws

foul line


Kids Definition of foul line

: either of two straight lines running from the rear corner of home plate through first and third base to the boundary of a baseball field


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!