fall (a)foul of (someone or something)

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fall (a)foul of (someone or something)

1. To become disliked or to come in conflict with someone or something due to one's actions, often resulting in further trouble or conflict. Since you're new here, be careful not to fall afoul of Bill—he'll keep you off of every case if he's mad at you. I fell foul of the committee, and now I'm not sure how to improve my reputation. Ted fell afoul of the law when he was still a kid, and he's been in and out of jail ever since.
2. obsolete In sailing, to strike the side of another ship. The two vessels, pitched and tossed as they were by the storm, fell foul of one another and sank into the cold Atlantic ocean.
See also: fall, of
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

fall (a)foul of someone or something

 and run (a)foul of someone or something
to get into a situation where one is opposed to someone or something; to get into trouble with someone or something. Dan fell afoul of the law at an early age. I hope that you will avoid falling afoul of the district manager. She can be a formidable enemy. I hope I don't run afoul of your sister. She doesn't like me.
See also: fall, foul, of
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

fall foul of

come into conflict with and be undermined by.
2004 Sunday Business Post Australia's biggest wine-maker, Foster's Group, is the latest company to fall foul of the wine surplus, which is set to continue for at least two years.
See also: fall, foul, of
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

fall foul of ˈsb/ˈsth

do something which gets you into trouble with somebody/something: They fell foul of the law by not paying their taxes.Try not to fall foul of Mr. Jones. He can be very unpleasant.
See also: fall, foul, of, Sb, sth
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in classic literature ?
I had not courage to walk straight into the apartment; but I desired to divert him from his reverie, and therefore fell foul of the kitchen fire, stirred it, and began to scrape the cinders.
With these counsels, and many others equally valuable, did Papa Wick fortify Bobby ere that last awful night at Portsmouth when the Officers' Quarters held more inmates than were provided for by the Regulations, and the liberty-men of the ships fell foul of the drafts for India, and the battle raged from the Dockyard Gates even to the slums of Longport, while the drabs of Fratton came down and scratched the faces of the Queen's Officers.
At length the London manager was discovered to be asleep, and shortly after that he woke up and went away, whereupon all the company fell foul of the unhappy comic countryman, declaring that his buffoonery was the sole cause; and Mr Crummles said, that he had put up with it a long time, but that he really couldn't stand it any longer, and therefore would feel obliged by his looking out for another engagement.
When the Countess Dowager of Southdown fell foul of the Corsican upstart, as the fashion was in those days, and showed that he was a monster stained with every conceivable crime, a coward and a tyrant not fit to live, one whose fall was predicted, &c., Pitt Crawley suddenly took up the cudgels in favour of the man of Destiny.
ERROR Ashley fell foul of the rules Ashley wants to axe all but one of Debenhams' board and appoint his own top team, which would include him.
Last year, 3,798 culprits failed to take their foot off the pedal, and fell foul of the trap.
Two theories are being explored - that he fell foul of fellow members of the drug trade or had a huge row with a friend.
Former midfielder Gary Deegan fell foul of the Twittersphere when he made a joking reference to the IRA after Scottish-born team-mate James McPake had been called up for international duty by Northern Ireland.
Flint has an unassailable lead and the only way he could lose would be if he fell foul of the stewards, in which case he would lose points.
TEES Valley Mohawks exited from the National Trophy despite beating Derby Trailblazers 93-90 in a ill-tempered, bruising encounter in which several players, coaches and one member of the crowd fell foul of the two officials.
Fulham tried to buy the Gabon international during the January transfer window but fell foul of FIFA rules, which prevent a player representing more than two clubs in one season.
Just five months after winning the Commonwealth 400 metres gold medal, Ohuruogu fell foul of the anti-doping regulations and received a 12 month ban.
It was the latest misadventure for Merthyr-born Williams, who this week fell foul of the club after signing a first-team shirt as Pele before it was auctioned for charity.
The VW-owned motor manufacturer said the sex scene fell foul of censors.
But the plan fell foul of UK Customs officials, who said Mr Berriman was in breach of tax laws.