run afoul of (someone or something)

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run afoul of (someone or something)

1. In sailing, to collide or become entangled with something. The schooner lost control and ran afoul of the lead boat. The small powerboat ran afoul of the seaweed and was completely immobilized.
2. 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Carter, in which Governors State University's (Ill.) student newspaper, The Innovator, ran afoul of the administration by publishing some scathing reports on administrators.
Where they ran afoul of the law was in remodeling their home and subsequently offering rooms for rent.
In Letter Ruling 200403049, the taxpayers owned and resided in a home (H1).While residing there, family member A presumably ran afoul of the law; A was placed on probation and spent one year at a rehabilitation facility.
This would revive a once-promising experiment that ran afoul of congressional opposition with only four such partnerships in effect a little more than ten years ago.
But when the paper ran afoul this fall of President Robert Mugabe, its printing press was bombed and many of it editors, reporters and executives were detained by the government.
He ran afoul of the Nazis and lost three sons in WW II.
Meanwhile, Fashion TV, which ran afoul of lawmakers two years ago for its nudity, will help Indian Airlines spruce up the image of its female staff.
Then they ran afoul of the authorities in Jerusalem and had to get out of town fast.