personal foul


Definition of personal foul

: a foul in a game (such as basketball) involving usually physical contact with or deliberate roughing of an opponent — compare technical foul

Examples of personal foul in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Teams average significantly more yards per pass over the middle because there is no sideline serving as an extra defender and receivers can no longer be leveled when defenseless without receiving a personal foul penalty. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The Kansas City Chiefs Are Football’s Golden State Warriors," 18 Jan. 2019 Notably, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was called for a personal foul in the third quarter for arguing with the officials. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "The Final Word: Bob Condotta breaks down what went right in the Seahawks’ thumping of the 49ers," 4 Dec. 2018 Strong also had a personal foul penalty in the second quarter. Theo Lawson, The Seattle Times, "Mike Leach says WSU secondary held up well against Stanford’s tree-like receivers," 30 Oct. 2018 Yet many more personal fouls would have been flagged. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "NFL coaches see both challenge and opportunity in implementation of new helmet rule," 2 May 2018 But as instant replay clearly showed, Stephenson earned a personal foul for forcing Green to the floor on a play that looked more like a wrestling move than a basketball play. Rob Tornoe,, "Ending to Cavaliers-Pacers game confused TNT analysts Chris Webber and Kenny Smith," 23 Apr. 2018 Porter, who finished with 11 points and four rebounds, jostled with her down low, and Wilson received her second personal foul midway through the first quarter for knocking Porter down. Aaron Reiss, kansascity, "Sophie Cunningham returns, and Mizzou beats defending national champ South Carolina," 7 Jan. 2018 Both were assessed a technical, with Allen also receiving a personal foul. Matt Eppers, USA TODAY, "Rookies Grayson Allen and Trae Young scuffle during Summer League game," 6 July 2018 Payne rumbled 21 yards on the return, which included an impressive open-field move to make running back Travis Etienne miss, and drew a 15-yard personal foul penalty as Tremayne Anchrum yanked him down with a horse collar. USA TODAY, "The Latest: Alabama stifles Clemson to reach title game," 1 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'personal foul.' 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 personal foul

circa 1829, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for personal foul

Last Updated

21 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for personal foul

The first known use of personal foul was circa 1829

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More Definitions for personal foul

personal foul


English Language Learners Definition of personal foul

basketball : a foul that involves physical contact with an opponent

Comments on personal foul

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


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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