foul play


Definition of foul play

: violence especially : murder

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Synonyms for foul play


blood, homicide, murder, rubout, slaying

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Examples of foul play in a Sentence

There is no evidence of foul play. the coroner ruled that there was no evidence of foul play

Recent Examples on the Web

Russia also suspects foul play in Glushkov's death and opened its own inquiry Friday. Fox News, "Russia retaliates, expels 23 British diplomats amid tensions over ex-spy poisoning," 2 Oct. 2018 There were no signs of foul play in his death, Hilton said. Janelle Walker, Elgin Courier-News, "Man who drowned in Fox River during fireworks show ID'd as Elgin resident," 6 July 2018 But public disquiet over the growing number of allegations of foul play in the Brexit referendum may provide some fuel. The Economist, "Britain’s election watchdog barks at digital campaign methods," 28 June 2018 After needlessly giving away a corner, Argentina became the latest side to be punished for foul play in the penalty box when Javier Mascherano was judged to have impeded his man by holding onto him., "Nigeria 1-2 Argentina: Late Show By Rojo Sees La Albiceleste Sneak Into Knockout Stages of World Cup," 26 June 2018 Nine of the 14 feet have been identified, and officials have ruled out foul play in all of the cases. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things for May 15: Melania Trump, royal wedding, Gaza protests," 15 May 2018 Russia also suspects foul play in Glushkov's death and opened its own inquiry Friday. Angela Charlton,, "Russia to expel 23 British diplomats in response to spy-poisoning accusations," 17 Mar. 2018 Officials don't suspect any foul play in connection with his death. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Elderly man drowns in 24 Hour Fitness pool near Cinco Ranch," 5 Feb. 2018 George Downs/The Wall Street Journal Turkish officials have cited evidence suggesting that Mr. Khashoggi was killed while in the consulate by men with Saudi government connections, though Saudi officials have denied any foul play. Michael S. Derby, WSJ, "Fed’s Kaplan: Too Soon to Know How Saudi Tensions Could Affect Economy," 19 Oct. 2018

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

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First Known Use of foul play

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near foul play


foul of

foul out

foul play

foul shot



Statistics for foul play

Last Updated

26 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for foul play

The first known use of foul play was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for foul play

foul play


English Language Learners Definition of foul play

: criminal violence or murder
: unfair or dishonest acts

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More from Merriam-Webster on foul play

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with foul play

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for foul play

Spanish Central: Translation of foul play

Nglish: Translation of foul play for Spanish Speakers

Comments on foul play

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esteemed in general opinion

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