Definition of foul play in English:

foul play

noun

  • 1Unfair play in a game or sport.

    ‘the referee sent off two players for foul play’
    • ‘There is a fine line between standing up for your team-mates and indulging in serious foul play but Pratt insists his actions went beyond the pale.’
    • ‘He was charged with serious foul play and suspended for three games.’
    • ‘Persistent foul play or cynical moves such as deliberate handball would see the player sent to the sin-bin.’
    • ‘The Bramley discipline was in danger of completely collapsing at this stage which led to Cooke converting two penalties for foul play.’
    • ‘The referee awarded only a penalty for the foul play, and the full-back remained on the field.’
    • ‘There's too much foul play and violence in football.’
    • ‘This glorious sport must be freed from brutality and foul play.’
    • ‘Lagan lost a player due to foul play and that situation may have weakened their offense.’
    • ‘Ignoring or not noticing the foul play the referee crowns the miscreant as the wrestling champion.’
    • ‘Surely assisting the referee with decisions on foul play would assist the ref as well.’
    • ‘56 mins: Another England penalty for foul play in the front row.’
    • ‘For, despite - in general - an absence of serious foul play, the tournament has produced five red cards.’
    • ‘This will help rid the game of deliberate cheating and foul play.’
    • ‘As the NUYS team shielded their opponents' attack with some tough defending, this resulted in some foul play and a penalty was awarded.’
    • ‘He had no tolerance for messing with refs and foul play.’
    • ‘Restricting penalties to offside culprits and foul play is long overdue since, as things stand, improper binding in a scrum can result in three points being handed to the opposition.’
    • ‘A penalty for foul play and backchat gave Booth yet another shot at goal.’
    • ‘West Park tried to rally in the final quarter despite having a fourth player sent to the bin for foul play, and the visitors were boosted by a penalty try decision.’
    • ‘New South Wales replacement Ryan McGoldrick was yellow-carded for foul play as he attempted to stop near the line.’
    • ‘Based on these figures, it can be calculated that approximately half of all the injuries during the tournaments were caused by foul play.’
  • 2Criminal or violent behaviour, in particular when resulting in another's death.

    ‘the man appeared to have died as a result of a fall, and foul play was not suspected’
    • ‘A Garda spokesman said officers did not suspect foul play.’
    • ‘The circumstances of his death excited questions of foul play.’
    • ‘Police in Northern Ireland have ruled out any foul play in Fulton's death.’
    • ‘Police are not commenting on whether or not this is a case of runaways or if foul play is suspected, but they would like Southeast residents to provide tips.’
    • ‘Police officials said the death appears to be of natural causes and no foul play is suspected.’
    • ‘Authorities are still investigating the reasons behind the fall, but do not believe that foul play was involved.’
    • ‘A Garda spokesperson said that they were not looking for anyone in connection with the incident and that foul play was not suspected.’
    • ‘Detectives said the case will remain open pending the completion of toxicology tests, but no foul play was suspected.’
    • ‘No cause of death was given but foul play is not suspected.’
    • ‘Technical examinations were continuing at the house last night to establish the cause of the fire, but Gardaí said foul play is not suspected.’
    • ‘Needless to say, if the police suspect some kind of foul play, there could be further inquiries, and possibly arrests as well.’
    • ‘Some privately suggested that they suspected foul play and planned to question the commission on the specific results Monday.’
    • ‘According to the police chief, there is no evidence of foul play.’
    • ‘An inquest is planned, though no foul play is suspected.’
    • ‘An autopsy on his body has ruled out foul play and his death is judged to be a suicide.’
    • ‘However, the bank did say it did not suspect foul play.’
    • ‘Police now suspect foul play and they're asking us for our help.’
    • ‘We just seem to think there was probably foul play involved.’
    • ‘Police said that foul play is suspected in his death, but have reported no leads.’
    • ‘It's a comic turn that really pays off, and ties neatly into the story's central themes of deception, foul play and murder.’
    criminal activity, crime, a criminal offence, villainy, murder, criminal violence, criminality
    dirty deeds
    View synonyms

Pronunciation:

foul play

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