Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

fool

play
noun \ˈfül\

Simple Definition of fool

  • : a person who lacks good sense or judgment : a stupid or silly person

  • : a person who enjoys something very much

  • : a dessert made with cooked fruit and cream or a thick sauce

Full Definition of fool

  1. 1 :  a person lacking in judgment or prudence

  2. 2 a :  a retainer formerly kept in great households to provide casual entertainment and commonly dressed in motley with cap, bells, and bauble b :  one who is victimized or made to appear foolish :  dupe

  3. 3 a :  a harmlessly deranged person or one lacking in common powers of understanding b :  one with a marked propensity or fondness for something <a dancing fool> <a fool for candy>

  4. 4 :  a cold dessert of pureed fruit mixed with whipped cream or custard

Examples of fool

  1. those fools who ride motorcycles without wearing helmets

  2. Only a fool would ask such a silly question.

  3. You'd be a fool to believe what he tells you.

  4. You're making yourself look like a fool.



Origin of fool

Middle English, from Anglo-French fol, from Late Latin follis, from Latin, bellows, bag; akin to Old High German bolla blister, balg bag — more at belly


First Known Use: 13th century


2

fool

adjective

Definition of fool

  1. :  foolish, silly <barking its fool head off>



Examples of fool

  1. The dog was barking its fool head off.

  2. Some fool driver kept trying to pass me!



13th Century

First Known Use of fool

13th century


3

fool

verb

Simple Definition of fool

  • : to speak or act in a way that is not serious

  • : to make (someone) believe something that is not true : to trick (someone)

Full Definition of fool

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to behave foolishly <told the children to stop their fooling> —often used with around b :  to meddle, tamper, or experiment especially thoughtlessly or ignorantly <don't fool with that gun> —often used with around

  3. 2 a :  to play or improvise a comic role b :  to speak in jest :  joke <I was only fooling>

  4. 3 :  to contend or fight without serious intent or with less than full strength :  toy <a dangerous man to fool with>

  5. transitive verb
  6. 1 :  to make a fool of :  deceive

  7. 2 obsolete :  infatuate

  8. 3 :  to spend on trifles or without advantage :  fritter —used with away

Examples of fool

  1. When she first told us that she was getting married, we thought she was fooling.

  2. His disguise didn't fool anybody.

  3. He really had me fooled.

  4. Stop fooling yourself—she doesn't really love you.



1593

First Known Use of fool

1593



FOOL Defined for Kids

1

fool

play
noun \ˈfül\

Definition of fool

  1. 1 :  a person without good sense or judgment

  2. 2 :  jester



History for fool

In Latin the word follis meant “bag” or (in the plural form folles) “bellows.” In the late stage of Latin that developed into French, follis also took on the meaning “person without sense,” whose head seemed, like a bag or bellows, to be full of nothing but air. Follis became Old French fol, which was borrowed into English as fol, later spelled fool.


2

fool

play
verb

Definition of fool

fooledfool·ing

  1. 1 :  to speak or act in a playful way or in fun :  joke <We were only fooling.>

  2. 2 :  2trick <Don't let them fool you.>

  3. 3 :  to spend time in an aimless way <We fooled around in the playground before school.>

  4. 4 :  to play with or handle something carelessly <Don't fool with my science project.>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up fool? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 7, 2016

a slight offense

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

pince-nez spindrift duvet kittly-benders
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ