foul play


Definition of foul play

: violence especially : murder

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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 Vanessa Guillen, a young soldier who vanished two months ago from her workplace on the post, was the victim of foul play. Sig Christenson,, "Houston lawmaker: Army suspects foul play in case of missing Fort Hood soldier," 23 June 2020 In some countries, like Ethiopia, governments have canceled or pushed back elections, often prompting cries of foul play from their opposition, who argue those in power are using the pretext of a pandemic to cling to power. Ryan Lenora Brown, The Christian Science Monitor, "Protect the vote, or the voter? In African elections, no easy choice.," 23 June 2020 Investigators did not find any evidence of foul play. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "The family of a Victorville man found hanging said he died by suicide," 20 June 2020 Authorities initially told family members Harsch's death was a possible suicide and that foul play had been ruled out. Segann March,, "'We're bringing him back home': Malcolm Harsch's sister speaks on Victorville hanging death," 19 June 2020 Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo responded Monday evening, saying the victim was described by his family as suicidal and that there were no signs of foul play. Shacamree Gowdy, Houston Chronicle, "Teen hanged himself on Spring elementary school property, police say," 17 June 2020 Currently, Harsch’s death is still under investigation, but San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Jodi Miller told the Desert Sun that there was no evidence of foul play. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "California Officials Call For Investigation Into Hanging Death Of Robert Fuller," 15 June 2020 The ruling on the cause and manner of Harsch's death is also pending toxicology results, although the sheriff's office says there is no evidence of foul play. NBC News, "Feds to review investigations into two Black men found hanging in Southern California," 15 June 2020 In both cases the authorities said no signs of foul play have been found. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "Los Angeles County officials will further investigate death of Black man found hanging from tree," 15 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for foul play

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for foul play

Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Foul play.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for foul play

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with foul play

Spanish Central: Translation of foul play

Nglish: Translation of foul play for Spanish Speakers

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