foul play


Definition of foul play 

: violence especially : murder

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Synonyms & Antonyms for foul play


force, violence



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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

Investigators believe the incident was a suicide and there were no indications of foul play, Atlanta police spokesman Carols Campos said. Eric Stirgus, ajc, "Police say man committed suicide over bridge near Atlanta University Center," 28 Apr. 2018 There was no obvious sign of foul play, but it hasn't been ruled out. Carol Robinson,, "Man found dead on east Birmingham road identified," 24 Apr. 2018 Officials have not yet determined whether foul play was involved, Lt. Susannah Bryan,, "Woman's body found off I-95 near Sunrise Boulevard," 8 July 2018 Investigators initially said foul play wasn't suspected. Fox News, "Mom of 2 girls who died charged with assaulting husband," 7 July 2018 Believing foul play was involved in Riley’s death (though no adults believe it), Mila performs a magic spell that brings all three girls back to their mortal coil for seven days. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Four hot novels for teens to dive into this summer vacation," 3 July 2018 Police do not suspect foul play was involved in the woman’s death, said Chicago police spokeswoman Officer Jessica Rocco. Paige Fry,, "Woman found dead on South Side Red Line tracks," 22 June 2018 Authorities are investigating whether the death was due to foul play or a suicide. Joseph A. Gambardello,, "Police: Naked woman found dead outside West Philadelphia church," 12 June 2018 No additional trauma was found and no foul play is suspected at this time. Indianapolis Star, "Coroner: Anderson parents thought child who died in hot car was in bed," 6 June 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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Learn More about foul play

Dictionary Entries near foul play


foul of

foul out

foul play

foul shot



Statistics for foul play

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

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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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Comments on foul play

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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