Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “foil”

See all translations

foil

noun uk   /fɔɪl/ us  

foil noun (METAL SHEET)

[U] a very thin sheet of metal, especially used to wrap food in to keep it fresh: tin foil UK aluminium foil

foil noun (COMPARISON)

[C] something or someone that makes another's good or bad qualities more noticeable: The older, cynical character in the play is the perfect foil for the innocent William.

foil noun (SWORD)

[C] a thin, light sword used in the sport of fencing

foil

verb [T] uk   /fɔɪl/ us  
to prevent someone or something from being successful: The prisoners' attempt to escape was foiled at the last minute when police received a tip-off.
(Definition of foil from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of foil?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “foil” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

christmassy

typical of Christmas, or happy because it is Christmas

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

tweleb noun

December 22, 2014
informal a Twitter celebrity; (more specifically, someone who has more than 1,000 followers on Twitter) There were a few old and a few new faces, including a tweleb or two. Expect to see and hear more from these cool kids.

Read More