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 ?
Bush had popular support for many of his programs before running afoul of public sentiment, so too did Lyndon Johnson.
Not only do companies risk incurring interest and penalties for compliance errors, but if their processes lack the required transparency in respect of every facet of the compliance function, management runs the risk of running afoul the rigorous requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Pizer, who is representing Benitez, says doctors who specialize in certain forms of treatment but refuse to provide that treatment to all patients risk running afoul of state and federal laws.
Gallagher, vice president of the Metals and Advanced Manufacturing Division of MSA, participants pledge that this information is accurate and verifiable and risk running afoul of Sarbanes-Oxley requirements if it is not.
City of New London that local governments could seize your house and sell it to Wal-Mart without running afoul of the United States Constitution, it set off a shudder of public revulsion from New England to South-Central Los Angeles.
We have also offered training classes to help our members deal with the requirements of the law without running afoul of it.