run afoul of (someone or something)

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run afoul of (someone or something)

To be in severe disagreement, trouble, or difficulty with someone or something; to be at odds with someone or something, especially due to disobeying rules or laws. Always look into the laws of any place you visit, or you may end up unwittingly running afoul of the local police. Ms. Banks has run afoul of this university for the last time. She is no longer welcome here!
See also: afoul, of, run

run afoul of

Also, run foul of. Come into conflict with, as in If you keep parking illegally you'll run afoul of the police. This expression originated in the late 1600s, when it was applied to a vessel colliding or becoming entangled with another vessel, but at the same time it was transferred to non-nautical usage. Both senses remain current.
See also: afoul, of, run
References in periodicals archive ?
A Swedish firm has announced plans to raise capital for investments in Iran, just what the Islamic Republic wants--but the Swedes' efforts are showing just how costly and time-consuming it is to make sure they don't run afoul of US sanctions.
As US export control enforcement focuses more heavily on individuals, and with export reform placing greater burdens on compliance by persons and entities who receive controlled goods, the potential for Canadian companies and individuals to run afoul of US requirements has increased markedly.
A senior US official was dispatched to Europe last week to make the point that businesses had best be careful what they do if they don't want to run afoul of US sanctions.