What does FOIL mean?

Definitions for FOILfɔɪl

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word FOIL.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. foil(noun)

    a piece of thin and flexible sheet metal

    "the photographic film was wrapped in foil"

  2. foil, enhancer(noun)

    anything that serves by contrast to call attention to another thing's good qualities

    "pretty girls like plain friends as foils"

  3. hydrofoil, foil(noun)

    a device consisting of a flat or curved piece (as a metal plate) so that its surface reacts to the water it is passing through

    "the fins of a fish act as hydrofoils"

  4. foil, transparency(noun)

    picture consisting of a positive photograph or drawing on a transparent base; viewed with a projector

  5. foil(verb)

    a light slender flexible sword tipped by a button

  6. foil(verb)

    enhance by contrast

    "In this picture, the figures are foiled against the background"

  7. thwart, queer, spoil, scotch, foil, cross, frustrate, baffle, bilk(verb)

    hinder or prevent (the efforts, plans, or desires) of

    "What ultimately frustrated every challenger was Ruth's amazing September surge"; "foil your opponent"

  8. foil(verb)

    cover or back with foil

    "foil mirrors"


  1. FOIL(Verb)

    To apply the FOIL algorithm to.

  2. FOIL(ProperNoun)

    A particular algorithm for multiplying two binomials.

  3. foil(Noun)

    A very thin sheet of metal.

  4. foil(Noun)

    Thin aluminium/aluminum (or, formerly, tin) used for wrapping food.

  5. foil

    A thin layer of metal put between a jewel and its setting to make it seem more brilliant.

  6. foil

    In literature, theatre/theater, etc, a character who helps emphasize the traits of the main character.

  7. foil

    Anything that acts to emphasise the characteristics of something.

  8. foil

    A very thin sword with a blunted (or foiled) tip

  9. foil

    A thin, transparent plastic material on which marks are made and projected for the purposes of presentation. See transparency.

  10. foil

    A stylized flower or leaf.

  11. foil

    Shortened form of hydrofoil.

  12. foil(Verb)

    To prevent (something) from being accomplished.

  13. foil(Verb)

    To prevent (someone) from accomplishing something.

  14. foil(Noun)

    The track of an animal.

  15. foil(Verb)

    To multiply two binomials together.

  16. foil

    Shortened form of aerofoil/airfoil.

  17. Origin: of first outer inner last or similar.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Foil(verb)

    to tread under foot; to trample

  2. Foil(verb)

    to render (an effort or attempt) vain or nugatory; to baffle; to outwit; to balk; to frustrate; to defeat

  3. Foil(verb)

    to blunt; to dull; to spoil; as, to foil the scent in chase

  4. Foil(verb)

    to defile; to soil

  5. Foil(noun)

    failure of success when on the point of attainment; defeat; frustration; miscarriage

  6. Foil(noun)

    a blunt weapon used in fencing, resembling a smallsword in the main, but usually lighter and having a button at the point

  7. Foil(noun)

    the track or trail of an animal

  8. Foil(noun)

    a leaf or very thin sheet of metal; as, brass foil; tin foil; gold foil

  9. Foil(noun)

    a thin leaf of sheet copper silvered and burnished, and afterwards coated with transparent colors mixed with isinglass; -- employed by jewelers to give color or brilliancy to pastes and inferior stones

  10. Foil(noun)

    anything that serves by contrast of color or quality to adorn or set off another thing to advantage

  11. Foil(noun)

    a thin coat of tin, with quicksilver, laid on the back of a looking-glass, to cause reflection

  12. Foil(noun)

    the space between the cusps in Gothic architecture; a rounded or leaflike ornament, in windows, niches, etc. A group of foils is called trefoil, quatrefoil, quinquefoil, etc., according to the number of arcs of which it is composed

  13. Origin: [See 6th File.]


  1. Foil

    In fiction, a foil is a character who contrasts with another character in order to highlight particular qualities of the other character. A foil usually either differs drastically or is extremely similar but with a key difference setting them apart. The concept of a foil is also more widely applied to any comparison that is made to contrast a difference between two things. Thomas F. Gieryn places these uses of literary foils into three categories which Tamara Antoine and Pauline Metze explain as: those that emphasize the heightened contrast, those that operate by exclusion, and those that assign blame. In Pride and Prejudice, Mary's absorption in her studies places her as a foil to her sister Elizabeth Bennet's lively and distracted nature. Similarly, in Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, the character Brutus has foils in the two characters Cassius and Mark Antony. In the Harry Potter series, Draco Malfoy can be seen as a foil to the Harry Potter character; Professor Snape enables both characters "to experience the essential adventures of self-determination" but they make different choices.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Foil

    foil, v.t. to defeat: to puzzle: to disappoint: (Spens.) to beat down or trample with the feet:—pr.p. foil′ing; pa.p. foiled.—n. failure after success seemed certain: defeat: a blunt sword used in fencing, having a button on the point.—Put to the foil, to blemish. [O. Fr. fuler, to stamp or crush—Low L. fullarefullo, a fuller of cloth.]

  2. Foil

    foil, n. a leaf or thin plate of metal, as tin-foil: a thin leaf of metal put under precious stones to increase their lustre or change their colour: anything that serves to set off something else: a small arc in the tracery of a window, &c. (trefoiled, cinquefoiled, multifoiled, &c.).—adj. Foiled.—n. Foil′ing. [O. Fr. foil (Fr. feuille)—L. folium, a leaf.]

Suggested Resources

  1. FOIL

    What does FOIL stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the FOIL acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Anagrams for FOIL »

  1. Filo, filo, LIFO, lo-fi


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of FOIL in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of FOIL in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Ivo Robotnik (Eggman):

    Curse you Sonic! Not only do you foil my plans but you foil my speeches too. I work hard on them!

  2. Benjamin Netanyahu:

    Were it not for our efforts to spearhead the sanctions and foil Iran's nuclear program, Iran would have already had nuclear weapons long ago.

  3. Kelly Shar Khuu:

    All the ladies were hitting him, i got the aluminum foil. The robber, a tall and robust man, was trying to yank the drawer free from the four petite women who held on with everything they had.

  4. Mullah Mansour:

    The creation of different groups ... is the last conspiracy of the invaders for continuation of the American proxy war in Afghanistan, god willing, the Afghan Muslim people will, through their strengthening of unity, foil this conspiracy.

  5. Chris Robling:

    Rahm has to say these (critical) things about Rauner. This is a perfect foil for him, rahm knows without someone applying discipline in Springfield (the state capital), which will eventually work its way back to straightening out the city of Chicago, the city will be at risk.

Images & Illustrations of FOIL


Translations for FOIL

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • станиол, фолио, рапира, варакBulgarian
  • paper d'alumini, floret, fullCatalan, Valencian
  • fólieCzech
  • Kontrastfigur, Aluminiumfolie, Folie, hintertreiben, FlorettGerman
  • ματαιώνω, αλουμινόχαρτο, ελαφρύ ξίφος ξιφασκίας, έλασμαGreek
  • papel de aluminio, lámina de metal, frustrar, folio, floreteSpanish
  • فویلPersian
  • estää, kertoa, folio, florettiFinnish
  • feuille, alu, déjouer, fleuret, papier d'aluminiumFrench
  • cliwe crammanaghManx
  • डाकHindi
  • meghiúsítHungarian
  • ֆոլգա, խափանել, փայլաթիթեղ, նրբաթիթեղ, առաջն առնելArmenian
  • lamella, fioretto, sventare, spalla, carta stagnola, laminaItalian
  • 箔, フォイル, 金属裏張り, ホイル, フルーレJapanese
  • ფოლგაGeorgian
  • folija, rapyraLithuanian
  • whakahēhēMāori
  • флоретMacedonian
  • Aluminiumfolie, afweren, verijdelen, uitwerken, floret, frustreren, folieDutch
  • floret, foliaPolish
  • frustrar, papel-alumínio, folha, floretePortuguese
  • предотвращать, рапира, станиоль, фольгаRussian
  • aluminiumfolie, florett, folieSwedish
  • ทำลายThai
  • folyoTurkish

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