be·​foul | \ bi-ˈfau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce befoul (audio) , bē- \
befouled; befouling; befouls

Definition of befoul

transitive verb

1 : to make foul (as with dirt or waste)
2 : sully, soil, besmirch scandal befouled his reputation

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Examples of befoul in a Sentence

pollutants that befoul the air and water unsightly mud and slush befouls the family car every winter
Recent Examples on the Web But dip even the most blood-befouled corset in a tub of warm water and swish, swish, swish — Lucy’s lace nightgown, or a doctor’s lab coat — is restored to its original snowy sheen. Mary Carole Mccauley,, 24 Oct. 2019 The poison of authoritarianism is as pervasive as the cloud of sulfur dioxide that befouled the air in East Germany. Kyle Smith, National Review, 26 Feb. 2020 Michael Kuta, 26, of the 700 block of South Addison Avenue, Villa Park, was cited for disorderly conduct – befouling property at 1:15 a.m. Nov. 28 after he was observed urinating on bushes in the 100 block of South York Street. Graydon Megan,, 6 Dec. 2019 But the country’s blond-sand beaches are now scarred with plastic bottles and its mountain streams befouled by open dumps. New York Times, 3 Dec. 2019 Microfibers from synthetic fabrics and other pollutants befoul our rivers and oceans., 28 Nov. 2019 Whether that changes between now and whenever Democrats bring articles of impeachment to the House floor will depend on their ability to make the case that the president has not only befouled his office but must be removed from it. Jonathan Allen, NBC News, 31 Oct. 2019 Ambrosino decries the garbage and neglect that have befouled places that could be developed into parks and other public resources., 3 Oct. 2019 Present day: Look how the Broncos and Raiders are befouling what was once a beautiful ritual. Gary Peterson, The Mercury News, 5 Sep. 2019

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

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of befoul was in the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Befoul.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of befoul

: to make (a substance, place, etc.) dirty : foul


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