• A very thin sheet of metal.
  • Thin aluminium/aluminum (or, formerly, tin) used for wrapping food.
  • A thin layer of metal put between a jewel and its setting to make it seem more brilliant.
  • 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, but can also serve as the sidekick of the protagonist.
  • Anything that acts by contrast to emphasise the characteristics of something.
  • A very thin sword with a blunted (or foiled) tip
  • A thin, transparent plastic material on which marks are made and projected for the purposes of presentation. See transparency.
  • A stylized flower or leaf.
  • A hydrofoil.
  • An aerofoil/airfoil.
  • Failure when on the point of attainment; defeat; frustration; miscarriage.
  • One of the incorrect answers presented in a multiple-choice test.
  • The track of an animal.


  • To cover or wrap with foil.
  • To prevent (something) from being accomplished.
  • To prevent (someone) from accomplishing something.
  • To blunt; to dull; to spoil.
  • To tread underfoot; to trample.
  • To expand a product of two or more algebraic expressions, typically binomials.
  • To defile; to soil.


Similar words


  • From Middle English foil, foille, from Old French fueille ("plant leaf"), from Late Latin folia, the plural of folium, mistaken as a singular feminine. folio, and folium.
  • From Middle English foilen ("spoil a scent trail by crossing it"), from Old French fouler ("tread on, trample"), ultimately from Latin fullō ("I trample, I full").
  • From French foulis.
  • From mnemonic acronym FOIL.
  • See file.

Modern English dictionary

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