Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “afoul”

afoul

adverb uk   /əˈfaʊl/ us  
run/fall afoul of sth/sb to experience problems, punishment, or harm because you do not obey a rule or disagree with a powerful organization, group, or person: He was 15 when he first ran afoul of the law. At one point Seeger fell afoul of the US government for his anti-war actions.
(Definition of afoul from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of afoul?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Arguing & disagreeing, but you might be interested in these topics from the Expressing opposition & disapproval topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Word of the Day

hello stranger

said to a person that you know but have not seen for a long time

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

silver splicer noun

November 17, 2014
informal a person who marries in later life Newly retired and now newlywed – rise of the ‘silver splicers’ Reaching pension age becomes a trigger to tie the knot as baby-boomers begin to redefine retirement

Read More