Meaning of FOIL in English


I. ˈfȯi(-ə)l transitive verb

Etymology: Middle English, alteration of fullen to full cloth, from Anglo-French foller — more at full

Date: 14th century

1. obsolete : trample


a. : to prevent from attaining an end : defeat

always able to foil her enemies

b. : to bring to naught : thwart

foil ed the plot

Synonyms: see frustrate

II. noun

Date: 15th century

1. archaic : defeat

2. archaic : the track or trail of an animal

III. noun

Etymology: Middle English, leaf, from Anglo-French fuille, foille (from Latin folia, plural of folium ) & fuil, from Latin folium — more at blade

Date: 14th century

1. : very thin sheet metal

aluminum foil

2. : a thin piece of material (as metal) put under an inferior or paste stone to add color or brilliance

3. : someone or something that serves as a contrast to another

acted as a foil for a comedian


a. : an indentation between cusps in Gothic tracery

b. : one of several arcs that enclose a complex figure

5. : hydrofoil 1

IV. transitive verb

Date: 1611

1. : to back or cover with foil

2. : to enhance by contrast

V. noun

Etymology: origin unknown

Date: 1594

1. : a light fencing sword having a usually circular guard and a flexible blade of rectangular section tapering to a blunted point — compare epee, saber

2. : the art or sport of fencing with the foil — often used in plural

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.