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foul (often merely a strong epithet of condemnation or disgust; 1 very freq., and in most midland and northern dials. the chief current sense; “ play”= unfair dealing Tp. I. ii. 60, Ham. I. ii. 255 is not pre-Eliz.)
1. ugly LLL. IV. iii. 87, H5 IV. Chor. 21 “ and ugly witch,” 2H6 V. i. 157, Oth. II. i. 141, Ven. 133 “hardfavour'd, foul.”
2. unattractive, poor in quality Troil. I. iii. 359 “Let us like merchants show our foulest wares.”
3. stormy Tp. II. i. 148 [141], John IV. ii. 108 “So a sky,” Oth. II. i. 34, Ven. 456 “Gusts and foul flaws.”
4. grossly abusive Meas. V. i. 304 “in mouth . . . To call him villain” ; cf. “foul-spoken” Tit. II. i. 58.
5. harsh, rough H5 II. i. 59* “If you grow with me,” Ven. 573 “Foul words and frowns.”
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hide References (8 total)
  • Cross-references in text-specific dictionaries from this page (8):
    • William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, 1.2
    • William Shakespeare, King John, 4.2
    • William Shakespeare, Henry V, 2.1
    • William Shakespeare, Henry V, 4.prologue
    • William Shakespeare, The Second Part of Henry VI, 5.1
    • William Shakespeare, The Tempest, 1.2
    • William Shakespeare, The Tempest, 2.1
    • William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis, ven
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