run foul of (someone or something)

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run foul of (someone or something)

1. In sailing, to collide or become entangled with something. The schooner lost control and ran foul of the lead boat. The small power boat ran foul 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 foul of the local police. Ms. Banks has run foul of this university for the last time. She is no longer welcome here!
See also: foul, of, run
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

run foul of

come into conflict with; go against.
This expression is nautical in origin: when used of a ship it means ‘collide or become entangled with an obstacle or another vessel’. Both literal and figurative uses were current by the late 17th century.
See also: foul, of, run
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
The changes ran foul of the constitution, which barred the government from amending term limits.
The ride-hailing company was declared an illegal taxi service after it ran foul of government regulations.
Mane famously ran foul of his previous boss at Southampton, Ronald Koeman, when he was fined and publicly humiliated for being late to a team meeting, but under Klopp he insists there is no chance of a repeat.
In Sunday's race, Jenson Button ran foul of tightened radio rules, collecting a drive through penalty when his McLaren team informed him how to get around a hydraulics issue that was causing him brake problems.
And he wasn't in the running for Jaguar's Good To Be Bad ad campaign, starring Tom Hiddleston which ran foul of the Advertising Standards Authority for encouraging irresponsible driv- ing.
However, he ran foul the game's adminisators and brought e club into disreute.
It goes without saying the statement ran foul of many.
But Gujral ran foul of the party when he refused to censor radio broadcasts during the state of emergency imposed by Gandhi in 1975.