- (transitive, intransitive, nautical) To become entangled or in conflict with.
1995, James Laurence Pelletier, Mariner's Employment Guide, page 514:
- Propellers can run afoul in heavy seaweed, and ships are said to be afoul when they collide.
1857, Thomas Jefferson Farnham, Life, Adventures, and Travels in California, page 407:
- At last we hove in sight of the Pacific, and run afoul one of those villainous head winds which you know often set into the west end of the Straits.