foul play

foul play

noun
1.
any treacherous or unfair dealing, especially involving murder: We feared that he had met with foul play.
2.
unfair conduct in a game.

Origin:
1600–10

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
foul play
 
n
1.  unfair or treacherous conduct esp with violence
2.  a violation of the rules in a game or sport

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

foul play

Unfair or treacherous action, especially involving violence. For example, The police suspected he had met with foul play. This term originally was and still is applied to unfair conduct in a sport or game and was being used figuratively by the late 1500s. Shakespeare used it in The Tempest (1:2): "What foul play had we, that we came from thence?"

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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