It is the cunningly veiled scheme in which that crime was only a detail that I have set myself to discover and foil.
Her part seemed only as a foil to the sombre splendour of his.
Don't you care; now I'm coming with my expeditionary forces, and you and I'll foil them yet.
"You're holding your foil like a flyswatter," MacHenery said.
It would seem as though these reminiscences were given us as a foil to melancholy, and they travel along with us into our dreams.
Was she using Le Gardeur as a foil to set off her attractions in the eyes of Bigot?
The throng of dreadful happenings becomes a foil to set off the inner struggle of thought.
And therefore identical with the foil of tinfoil, counterfoil, etc.
“There is nothing so effective as a foil,” added Mrs. Black.
As a foil to his austerity, therefore, she would be audaciously gay in his presence.
foil c.1300, foilen "to spoil a trace or scent by running over it," from O.Fr. fouler "trample," from V.L. *fullare "to clean cloth" (by treading on it), from L. fullo "one who cleans cloth, fuller," of unknown origin. Sense of "frustrate the efforts of" first recorded 1660s. Related: Foiled; foiling. Foiled again! as a cry of defeat and dismay is from at least 1847.