Main definitions of foil in English

: foil1foil2foil3foil4

foil1

verb

[with object]
  • 1Prevent (something considered wrong or undesirable) from succeeding.

    ‘a brave policewoman foiled the armed robbery’
    • ‘A courageous have-a-go hero was threatened with a wooden pole after foiling a late-night theft attempt.’
    • ‘The security company which foiled the abduction of a baby from a maternity hospital is to create 200 new jobs in a nationwide expansion.’
    • ‘At around 11 am that day a pensioner foiled another attempted scam by a man and woman in Central Avenue, Gravesend.’
    • ‘A have-a-go hero who was shot as he tried to foil a bank robbery was a retired bank manager himself, it emerged last night.’
    • ‘But Morgan makes enemies right away when he foils a mugging by a gang of local ruffians.’
    • ‘Lamont and Rollo foil a robbery and take possession of the burglar's gun.’
    • ‘Like the film, it begins with an ordinary day in the life of Mr. Incredible and his wife-to-be, Elastigirl, as they foil a bank heist.’
    • ‘His direct action and cool nerves foil the robbery in suitably dramatic fashion.’
    • ‘Police foiled a 1999 kidnap plot against Victoria and Brooklyn, although no one was arrested in that case.’
    • ‘Police foiled their attempt to march out of the Dhaka University campus to demonstrate on the street.’
    • ‘Armed police foiled a robbery in Urmston today.’
    • ‘I was informed recently that it was a Johnson who foiled the gunpowder plot.’
    • ‘On May 30, the government announced that it had foiled a second coup attempt.’
    • ‘Rain is man's mortal enemy, foiling our fiendish plans at every opportunity!’
    • ‘Lamont and Rollo foil a robbery and take possession of the burglar's gun.’
    • ‘His direct action and cool nerves foil the robbery in suitably dramatic fashion.’
    • ‘Police and the army have already foiled several bomb attacks and captured several suspected terrorists.’
    • ‘Two Bradford postmen have been hailed for foiling a raid on a post office on their way to work.’
    • ‘There is more to foil the car thief's attempt.’
    • ‘The officers also foiled a protected animals smuggling attempt to South Korea, South Africa and Japan.’
    thwart, frustrate, counter, oppose, balk, disappoint, impede, obstruct, hamper, hinder, snooker, cripple, scotch, derail, smash, dash
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Frustrate the efforts or plans of.
      ‘their rivals were foiled by the weather’
      • ‘My plan was foiled when I asked my sister if she'd accidentally called me, and she said ‘Must have, you're in my calls list!’’
      • ‘Last night a basketball game foiled my efforts to watch the third from the last ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ episode.’
      • ‘But thanks to us alert Icelanders (well, me at least) this evil plot is foiled yet again.’
      • ‘She wanted to ignore him, but he kept foiling her best attempts.’
      • ‘And even if he does, by then we'll have foiled his plans.’
      • ‘My heart raced as I thought that my plan had been foiled once again.’
      • ‘Terror leadership is being found and brought to justice; attacks have been foiled.’
      • ‘However, the alleged attack was foiled by the alert police force of the district.’
      • ‘The 89-year-old foiled two would-be thieves last November.’
      • ‘But I found my efforts repeatedly foiled by the expectations of the students themselves.’
      • ‘If scarcity doesn't foil the restitution effort, public opinion could.’
      • ‘The area's sheer size no doubt foiled the patrols, but confusion as to who ought to be ejected also likely played a part.’
      • ‘These attempts were foiled as Vince flew through open gaps before the water could tighten around his body.’
      • ‘For the chickadees, he made feeders from lengths of PVC pipe that hung from high wires to foil the bears.’
      • ‘Well, it looks like all my zest for writing what could possibly have turned into a dirty little article has been foiled.’
      • ‘The metaphorical character of Nietzsche's concepts serves to foil any definitive reading of his philosophy.’
      • ‘When trying to foil any pest or nuisance animal, learn about its habits, likes, and dislikes.’
      • ‘In Tucson, Arizona, Barbara dries them on her roof, spreading the tomatoes on oiled screens under cheesecloth tents to foil the birds.’
      • ‘Let James rejoice with the Skuttle-Fish, who foils his foe by the effusion of his ink.’
      • ‘Am I joining exercise classes so I can foil fools who rob me?’
      thwart, frustrate, counter, oppose, balk, disappoint, impede, obstruct, hamper, hinder, snooker, cripple, scotch, derail, smash, dash
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Hunting (of a hunted animal) run over or cross (ground or a scent or track) in such a way as to confuse the hounds.
      • ‘What's more fun to watch than a trained dog foiling bad guys?’
      • ‘At the other end Foy was foiled twice before Kilheeney's cross was scrambled clear, as the game swung from end to end.’
      • ‘They tried to get close to the animal but were foiled by the frustrated beast.’

noun

  • 1Hunting
    The track or scent of a hunted animal.

  • 2archaic A setback in an enterprise; a defeat.

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘trample down’): perhaps from Old French fouler ‘to full cloth, trample’, based on Latin fullo ‘fuller’. Compare with full.

Pronunciation

foil

/fɔɪl/

Main definitions of foil in English

: foil1foil2foil3foil4

foil2

noun

  • 1mass noun Metal hammered or rolled into a thin flexible sheet, used chiefly for covering or wrapping food.

    ‘aluminium foil’
    • ‘When the photon hits an object, that object recoils - you can measure this using a thin sheet of foil in a vacuum.’
    • ‘Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush with olive oil.’
    • ‘Tom carefully arranged the bacon on a sheet covered with aluminum foil.’
    • ‘On a baking sheet lined with aluminium foil spread out the seeds.’
    • ‘For special needs, stainless steel and copper foil may be specified.’
    • ‘And as well as wrapping the turkey in foil this year, some people tried doing the same with their sets.’
    • ‘If you can't track them down use foil instead, which may not be as pretty but is just as effective.’
    • ‘Tin foil hats arrive in the mail ten days after your membership is confirmed.’
    • ‘I unwrapped the tin foil from the sandwich as Zephyr glared hungrily at it.’
    • ‘Mr. Doe unwrapped the tin foil and found five hundred dollar bills.’
    • ‘What if I blocked the vents with crumpled aluminium foil and kept the hot air from escaping?’
    • ‘Gold foil is used for decorative gilding coatings in, for example books, church furniture, steeples and statues.’
    • ‘I could see lots of clear plastic bags and silver foil wraps floating away.’
    • ‘Indeed the roses made of purplish painted aluminium foil have a sick irradiated glow.’
    • ‘For large cutouts, copper foil is used as a temporary backing to hold the enamel in place.’
    • ‘She parked her tush on one of the chairs and removed the foil wrapping.’
    • ‘An outer insulating layer protects the anode, a thin lithium metal foil or a graphite - lithium composite.’
    • ‘And I've covered all my work surfaces with heavy-duty kitchen foil.’
    • ‘I unwrapped a Pop Tart from its foil wrapper and placed it in the toaster.’
    • ‘Do not cover drip tray or any part of the oven with metal foil.’
  • 2A person or thing that contrasts with and so emphasizes and enhances the qualities of another.

    ‘his white cravat was a perfect foil for his bronzed features’
    • ‘Qualities such as these make goddesses a perfect foil to counter new forms of cultural colonisation.’
    • ‘‘Sutton is the perfect foil for a more mobile striker, and in his Blackburn days Shearer performed that role,’ the defender states.’
    • ‘He was a great ‘reacter,’ which made him the perfect foil for Stan and Ollie.’
    • ‘Patterson feels that 34 year-old Starbuck will be the perfect foil for him in on-the-field affairs.’
    • ‘His chunky, twitchy presence is the perfect foil for Li's monotone, driven one and the scenes the two have together are amongst the best in the film.’
    • ‘It provides a perfect foil for the more lively Donaghy's bar.’
    • ‘Noah is the perfect foil to Rachel's twitchy intellect.’
    • ‘If Sandra for the major part is congenial, affable, it is her sparring partner, Regina King, who plays a perfect foil.’
    • ‘With women finding themselves pushing their way up the social ladder, husbands are now okay with playing the perfect foil.’
    • ‘And as for that little man, who was the ghost writer of the whole thing, well he is the perfect foil for Mr. Keane.’
    • ‘The more I learned, the more he became the foil to Cook's trajectory - the night sky to Cook's rising star.’
    • ‘He provided a perfect foil for Afridi, and reached a half-century of his own.’
    • ‘Now Thatcher's famous intransigence provided the perfect foil to the image being built of the noble rebel.’
    • ‘No longer simply comic foils or chubby sidekicks, the leading men of these shows are supersize stars.’
    • ‘Tony's meddling sister Janice turns into an excellent foil and object of Tony's anger.’
    • ‘More rich color comes from a deep green dwarf philodendron, whose glossy leaves are a foil to the pincushions' fine texture.’
    • ‘As a foil to the brilliance of Dalglish he was the cornerstone of the fabulous Liverpool midfield of the 1980's.’
    • ‘Their partnership seemed perfect - the steady Toms offering a perfect foil to the inconsistent brilliance of Mickelson.’
    • ‘The big leathery leaves of the hostas are an excellent foil for the fernlike foliage of the astilbes.’
    • ‘Both of these are conceived as lightweight foils to the solid white mass of the main volume and reveal something of the building's functions.’
    contrast, background, setting, relief, antithesis
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1A thin leaf of metal placed under a precious stone to increase its brilliance.
      • ‘Metal foils are available, with embossed aluminum most popular.’
      • ‘Additionally, I love combining the pewter with other metal foils such as copper and brass foil, as well as using metal paints and glass beads.’
      • ‘The final inclusion is a thin foil case badge saying simply ‘Geared by MSI’.’
      • ‘Coloured foil on the glass skin adds a further kaleidoscopic dimension.’
      • ‘The reflective foil gives the surface a shiny playful quality.’
      • ‘The shine and transparency of glass automatically adds dimension and using metallic inks and foils only enhance the effect.’
      • ‘All work is done by hand and no dyes or stencils are used to trace the pattern or to cut foils,’ says Indu.’
  • 3Architecture
    A leaf-shaped curve formed by the cusping of an arch or circle.

Origin

Middle English via Old French from Latin folium ‘leaf’.

Pronunciation

foil

/fɔɪl/

Main definitions of foil in English

: foil1foil2foil3foil4

foil3

noun

  • A light, blunt-edged fencing sword with a button on its point.

    • ‘Each adversary was dressed in a white jacket, the buttons of their foils were dipped in liquid; that of Lapiere's red, Le Brun's black.’
    • ‘The very design of the Italian foil and épée is based on the rapier prototype.’
    • ‘What is the compelling reason for beginning your fencing career with the foil?’
    • ‘The rules still state that the foil and épée are thrusting weapons.’
    • ‘The tournament involves the three fencing swords, foil, épée and sabre and comprises individual and team events.’
    • ‘The Italian foil with crossbar, with a very short grip, requires holding the pommel against the wrist by means of a strap.’
    • ‘I had read about this kind of sword before - a Rapier - a dueling foil - a child's toy.’
    • ‘He clouds his own points by making references to modern foil, épée and sabre.’
    • ‘They loaded it into the Holden's carriage along with some foils for fencing, a few books, and the girls' dolls.’
    • ‘The illustration shows a parry similar to the French foil parry of fifth.’
    • ‘Afterwards the Prince asked for a set of foils, masks and gloves, for which Roland was suitably rewarded.’
    • ‘Indeed Veeru's Napier thrust looked just the foil to Rahul's rapier thrust.’
    • ‘Just as she gets stabbed through the neck with a fencing foil, it is revealed that what we've just seen was nothing but a TV movie.’
    • ‘However, it reappeared in a different form the next day when Tandy was doing some work on his fencing foil.’
    • ‘Quentin walks to the wall and examines one of the two fencing foils on display.’
    • ‘He puts the fencing foil back on the wall and asks Petofi if he needs a doctor.’
    • ‘Audrey was pointing the foil still on Vincent's throat.’
    • ‘Harrison gulps with the point of the foil at his throat.’
    • ‘As she spun, the missed thrust carried the girl forward, and she took advantage of that, hitting the girl in the stomach with the tip of her foil.’
    • ‘She grimaced and let the point of her foil drop to the floor.’

Origin

Late 16th century of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

foil

/fɔɪl/

Main definitions of foil in English

: foil1foil2foil3foil4

foil4

noun

  • Each of the structures fitted to a hydrofoil's hull to lift it clear of the water at speed.

    • ‘Roller-furling headsails should be removed from the foils not only do they create windage but the chance of their unrolling is great.’
    • ‘Because the foils are fine they react very well indeed - the positive side of having the ballast in the hull.’
    • ‘The greater the pressure, the smaller the diameter the ruptured foil would be.’
    • ‘The flow lines are compressed, and the pressure beneath the foil is increased.’
    • ‘Friction between the shuttle rollers and the foil causes problems with the tension control.’

Origin

Abbreviation of hydrofoil.

Pronunciation

foil

/fɔɪl/