English

Definition of foil verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

foil

 verb
verb
BrE BrE//fɔɪl//
 
; NAmE NAmE//fɔɪl//
 
Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they foil
BrE BrE//fɔɪl//
 
; NAmE NAmE//fɔɪl//
 
he / she / it foils
BrE BrE//fɔɪlz//
 
; NAmE NAmE//fɔɪlz//
 
past simple foiled
BrE BrE//fɔɪld//
 
; NAmE NAmE//fɔɪld//
 
past participle foiled
BrE BrE//fɔɪld//
 
; NAmE NAmE//fɔɪld//
 
-ing form foiling
BrE BrE//ˈfɔɪlɪŋ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈfɔɪlɪŋ//
 
 
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[often passive] to stop something from happening, especially something illegal; to prevent somebody from doing something synonym thwart foil something to foil a plan/crime/plot Customs officials foiled an attempt to smuggle the paintings out of the country. foil somebody (in something) They were foiled in their attempt to smuggle the paintings. Word Originverb Middle English (in the sense ‘trample down’): perhaps from Old French fouler ‘to full cloth, trample’, based on Latin fullo ‘fuller’. Extra examplesCustoms officials foiled an attempt to smuggle priceless paintings out of the country. The burglary was foiled by a passer-by who called the police. The registration plates are designed to foil police speed traps.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: foil

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