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

And then the ball went off Bryce Harper’s glove, bounced to the clay at the base of the wall in front of the Nationals bullpen, caromed off Harper’s foot and bounced to where the foul line meets the foul pole. Kevin Acee,, "Ross' arm, Villanueva's bat, Harper's drop help Padres to win over Nationals," 23 May 2018 Late in Game 2 Tuesday night against the Warriors, Rondo messed with Draymond Green at the foul line by grabbing the rebound after Green’s first shot, then wiping his sweat all over the ball before handing it back to the official. Nick Schwartz, For The Win, "Rajon Rondo resorts to gross tactic to mess with Draymond Green," 2 May 2018 The average major league field contains 90,000 square feet between the foul lines. Houston Mitchell,, "Dodgers Dugout: Kenley Jansen, Rich Hill, Corey Seager... There's a lot to talk about," 20 Apr. 2018 Both teams shot well from the foul line, with Wyoming hitting 34 of 42 and Nevada making 30 of 38. USA TODAY, "Wyoming outlasts No. 23 Nevada 104-103 in double overtime," 25 Jan. 2018 Late in the fourth quarter of the Suns’ 71-53 Summer League win over the Magic on Monday, Phoenix forward Jack Cooley stepped to the foul line for a pair of free throw attempts. Staff,, "Weekend Read: Meet the 'Adopted Son' of NBA Summer League, Astroball's Release and More," 13 July 2018 Benjamin Robson Observations ▪ The 49ers were outstanding from the foul line, hitting 21 of 22 shots. Steve Lyttle, charlotteobserver, "It wasn’t the Charlotte 49ers’ defense that cost them against Western Kentucky," 13 Jan. 2018 Gotta get to the foul line; gotta make more free throws. Sam Mcdowell, star-telegram, "OT Thriller: Buzzer-beater in regulation not enough for TCU in Big 12 Tournament | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 8 Mar. 2018 Dass dribbled a grounder down the foul line, only for the catcher to fumble the ball. Sam Dodge,, "Newport Beach PONY All-Stars advance to sectional championship," 8 July 2018

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about foul line

Statistics for foul line

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for foul line

The first known use of foul line was in 1870

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for foul line

foul line


English Language Learners Definition of foul line

baseball : either one of two straight lines that go from home plate through first and third base on to the edge of the outfield

basketball : 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

More from Merriam-Webster on foul line

See words that rhyme with foul line

Comments on foul line

What made you want to look up foul line? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a private place of worship

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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