foil Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Definition of “foil” - English Dictionary

"foil" in American English

See all translations


 us   /fɔɪl/
  • foil noun (METAL SHEET)

[U] a very ​thinsheet of ​metal, used esp. for ​wrappingfood: aluminum foil
  • foil noun (COMPARISON)

[C] someone or something that makes another’s good or ​badqualities all the more ​noticeable: The ​older, ​cynicalcharacter in the ​play is the ​perfect foil for the ​innocent William.
  • foil noun (BLADE)

[C] a ​thin, ​lightweapon with a ​longblade used in the ​sport of ​fencing

foilverb [T]

 us   /fɔɪl/
  • foil verb [T] (PREVENT)

to ​prevent someone or something from being ​successful: An ​attemptedcoup against the country’s ​militaryruler was foiled ​yesterday.

FOILnoun [U]

 us   /fɔɪl/
mathematics abbreviation for first, ​outer, ​inner, last, the ​rule for ​multiplying two binomials (= ​statements that have two ​numbers or ​symbols each)
(Definition of foil from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

(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
Word of the Day


a large vehicle with a flat surface that is decorated and used in festivals

Word of the Day

by Colin McIntosh,
February 09, 2016
New words are entering the language all the time. A few of these are completely new and original coinages, but the vast majority are based on the existing stock of words in some way, for example by using affixes (prefixes and suffixes). These can have the effect of changing the meaning of the

Read More 

farecasting noun
farecasting noun
February 08, 2016
predicting the optimum date to buy a plane ticket, especially on a website or using an app A handful of new and updated websites and apps are trying to perfect the art of what’s known as farecasting – predicting the best date to buy a ticket.

Read More