- The definition of foul play is a treacherous action, unfair play or play that breaks the rules of the game.
- When a fire is caused by arson, this is an example of a situation when there is foul play.
- When someone tackles in football in a way that is against the rules, this is an example of foul play.
foul play definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- unfair play; action that breaks the rules of the game
- treacherous action or violence; esp., murder
foul play definition by American Heritage Dictionary
nounThe American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Unfair or treacherous action, especially when involving violence.
foul play - Phrases/Idioms
Unfair or treacherous action, especially involving violence. For example, The police suspected he had met with foul play. This term originally was and still is applied to unfair conduct in a sport or game and was being used figuratively by the late 1500s. Shakespeare used it in The Tempest (1:2): “What foul play had we, that we came from thence?”