Definition of run afoul (or foul) of in US English:

run afoul (or foul) of

phrase

  • 1Nautical
    Collide or become entangled with (an obstacle or another vessel)

    ‘another ship ran afoul of us’
    • ‘It was in full sail close to us, luffing a little and standing across our course, and so close we had to strike sail to avoid running foul of her, while they too turned hard to let us pass.’
    • ‘Entering Bogue Inlet about dusk last May, the Coast Guard's rigid hull inflatable ran afoul of some breaking waves as the inlet bar was up that day.’
  • 2Come into conflict with; go against.

    ‘the act may run afoul of consumer protection legislation’
    • ‘Student gangs are a feature of school life and the teacher who runs afoul of any member of a gang, whether male or female, is in for a torrid time.’
    • ‘Lombard's admission means he now joins Michelle Smith and Hendricken as the third Irish athlete banned after running foul of testing for performance-enhancing substances.’
    • ‘They've run afoul of the law and wound up in jail.’
    • ‘Because every year there are more rules and laws for us to run afoul of.’
    • ‘Might we think that there are times when it might permissible, perhaps obligatory, for us to do something that runs afoul of the rule of law in the name of a greater good?’
    • ‘His guesthouse became a haven for travellers from across the world, a place to relax without worrying about dress restrictions or running foul of the police.’
    • ‘It's not so easy for an American organization to pay a large number of individuals from around the world, without running afoul of various IRS regulations.’
    • ‘Since a man has been charged with that murder, the short film clip risked running foul of the law on contempt of court.’
    • ‘He received a medical degree in 1884 but was soon dismissed from Boston City Hospital after running afoul of the rigid strictures governing medical practice by young doctors.’
    • ‘Franz Ferdinand run the risk of running foul of the law in the US after deciding to use subliminal messages on their new album.’