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

cold snap

a short period of cold weather

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 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More