foil

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See also: FOIL

English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
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Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /fɔɪl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɔɪl

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English foil, foille, from Old French fueille (plant leaf), from Late Latin folia, the plural of folium, mistaken as a singular feminine. Doublet of folio.

Noun[edit]

foil (countable and uncountable, plural foils)

  1. A very thin sheet of metal.
  2. (uncountable) Thin aluminium/aluminum (or, formerly, tin) used for wrapping food.
  3. A thin layer of metal put between a jewel and its setting to make it seem more brilliant.
  4. (authorship, figuratively) In literature, theatre/theater, etc., a character who helps emphasize the traits of the main character and who usually acts as an opponent or antagonist.
  5. (figuratively) Anything that acts by contrast to emphasise the characteristics of something.
    • (Can we date this quote by Sir Philip Sidney and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      As she a black silk cap on him began / To set, for foil of his milk-white to serve.
    • (Can we date this quote by Broome and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Hector has a foil to set him off.
  6. (fencing) A very thin sword with a blunted (or foiled) tip
    • 1598–1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “Much Adoe about Nothing”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene ii]:
      Blunt as the fencer's foils, which hit, but hurt not.
    • (Can we date this quote by Mitford and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Socrates contended with a foil against Demosthenes with a sword.
  7. A thin, transparent plastic material on which marks are made and projected for the purposes of presentation. See transparency.
  8. (heraldry) A stylized flower or leaf.
  9. A hydrofoil.
  10. An aerofoil/airfoil.
Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

foil (third-person singular simple present foils, present participle foiling, simple past and past participle foiled)

  1. (transitive) To cover or wrap with foil.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English foilen (spoil a scent trail by crossing it), from Old French fouler (tread on, trample), ultimately from Latin fullo (clothes cleaner, fuller).

Verb[edit]

foil (third-person singular simple present foils, present participle foiling, simple past and past participle foiled)

  1. To prevent (something) from being accomplished.
  2. To prevent (someone) from accomplishing something.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      And by mortal man at length am foiled.
    • (Can we date this quote by Byron and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      her long locks that foil the painter's power
    • 2011 December 10, David Ornstein, “Arsenal 1 - 0 Everton”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      First, former Toffee Mikel Arteta sent Walcott racing clear but instead of shooting he squared towards Ramsey, who was foiled by Tony Hibbert.
    • 2017 August 20, “The Observer view on the attacks in Spain”, in The Observer[2]:
      Many jihadist plots have been foiled and the security apparatus is getting better, overall, at pre-empting those who would do us ill. But, they say, the nature of the threat and the terrorists’ increasing use of low-tech, asymmetrical tactics such as hire vehicles and knives, make it all but impossible to stop every assault.
  3. To blunt; to dull; to spoil.
    to foil the scent in hunting
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Addison to this entry?)
  4. (obsolete) To tread underfoot; to trample.
    • (Can we date this quote by Knowles and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      King Richard [] caused the ensigns of Leopold to be pulled down and foiled under foot.
    • (Can we date this quote by Spenser and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Whom he did all to pieces breake and foyle, / In filthy durt, and left so in the loathely soyle.
Synonyms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

foil (plural foils)

  1. Failure when on the point of attainment; defeat; frustration; miscarriage.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Milton to this entry?)
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Nor e'er was fate so near a foil.
  2. One of the incorrect answers presented in a multiple-choice test.

Etymology 3[edit]

From French foulis.

Noun[edit]

foil (plural foils)

  1. (hunting) The track of an animal.
Synonyms[edit]
  • (track of an animal): spoor
Translations[edit]

Etymology 4[edit]

From mnemonic acronym FOIL (First Outside Inside Last).

Verb[edit]

foil (third-person singular simple present foils, present participle foiling, simple past and past participle foiled)

  1. (mathematics) To expand a product of two or more algebraic expressions, typically binomials.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 5[edit]

See file.

Verb[edit]

foil (third-person singular simple present foils, present participle foiling, simple past and past participle foiled)

  1. (obsolete) To defile; to soil.

Anagrams[edit]


Old French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Latin folium. Compare fueille, from the plural of folium, folia.

Noun[edit]

foil m (oblique plural fouz or foilz, nominative singular fouz or foilz, nominative plural foil)

  1. leaf (green appendage of a plant which photosynthesizes)