foil

Part of speech: verb

To render ineffectual; frustrate; balk.

Part of speech: noun

Metal in very thin sheets, as on the back of a mirror.

Part of speech: noun

Anything that sets off something else by contrast.

Part of speech: noun

A leaf - like division in architectural ornamentation.

Part of speech: noun

A sword - like implement, with a button on its end, used in fencing.

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Usage examples "foil":

  1. She was dressed entirely in black, and her sable figure made a startling foil to Diana's slender whiteness. - "The Splendid Folly", Margaret Pedler.
  2. They were quite aware of the uses to which the king was hoping to turn their reverence for the memory and the family of the great martyr, and were determined to foil such idle projects on the threshold. - "Project Gutenberg History of The Netherlands, 1555-1623, Complete", John Lothrop Motley.
  3. Then he suddenly spoke, and his voice was like a fencer's foil- light, bright, alert, constantly playing, yet utterly on guard. - "The Moon is Green", Fritz Reuter Leiber.