from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Unfair or treacherous action, especially when involving violence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Unfair, unethical, or criminal behavior, especially of a malicious or violent nature.
  • n. Any violation of rules.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. unfair or dishonest behavior (especially involving violence)


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • “There is one comfort,” said Alceste slowly, after a pause, “no foul play can be suspected with regard to the death of Mrs. Hampstead.

    Death at the Opera

  • So halting at the first halting-place they agreed to play him false and take all he had; but at the same time, each inwardly plotted foul play to the other, saying in his mind, “If I can cheat my comrade, times will go well with me and I shall have all these goods for myself.”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • This led many who were in favor of Mr. Gafney, to feel that there was foul play by Dr. Ray, the contestant.

    My Life in the South

  • Morgan's foul play was no part of Pyra's effort, though Demoness Fornax was evidently using her to force the issue.

    Stork Naked

  • Now they had been sitting with the merchant; so when they left him and were long absent from him, he sought for tidings of them and found the twain lying dead; whereby he knew that they were sharpers who had plotted to play him foul, but their foul play had recoiled upon themselves.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Her first thought would no doubt be to consult a solicitor in Leahampton, and unless she already had the idea of foul play in her mind, there was nothing to deter her from doing so.

    Unnatural Death

  • But if the scumbag has met with foul play — the secretary’s convinced — I figured these names might come in handy.


  • Then Escambia County Judge Russell Cole ruled there was no probable cause to believe that the death of Lathern Broughton was a result of a criminal act, criminal negligence or foul play on the part of deputies.

    PNJ - News

  • “Mugging’s reasonably foul play all by itself, but no, there’s no official suspicion.

    A Dance at the Slaughterhouse.html


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