fol·​de·​rol | \ ˈfäl-də-ˌräl How to pronounce folderol (audio) \
variants: or less commonly \ ˈfal-​də-​ˌral How to pronounce falderal (audio) \

Definition of folderol

1 : a useless ornament or accessory : trifle

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Did You Know?

Hogwash. Claptrap. Hooey. Drivel. Malarkey. English is rife with words that mean "nonsense," and "folderol" is one of the many. Though not the most common of the words for nonsense, it's been around since 1820 and is still heard today. "Folderol" comes from "fol-de-rol" (or "fal-de-ral"), which used to be a nonsense refrain in songs, much like "tra-la-la." The oldest recorded instance of someone "singing folderol" occurs in Irish dramatist George Farquhar's 1701 play Sir Harry Wildair, in which a character sings, "Fal, al, deral!"

Examples of folderol in a Sentence

I wish we could just discuss these questions without having to go through all the folderol of a formal meeting. wanted a dignified, simple wedding and not the folderol that the wedding planner was trying to foist on them
Recent Examples on the Web Her face is part of the dance: The open-hearted eagerness of her expression suits her character perfectly—all that digital-fur-technology folderol melts away in the context of her realness. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Cats Is Terrible, But It’s Also Kind of Great," 20 Dec. 2019 Country is often perceived as standing apart from pop music, or in opposition to pop folderol, but country music is pop music: there’s virtually no period in country history when its songs and sounds haven’t been crossed over in one way or another. David Cantwell, The New Yorker, "Ken Burns’s Delightful “Country Music” Gets the Big Things Mostly Right," 15 Sep. 2019 As for the delta smelt, the assertion that water is being diverted away from the Central Valley simply to preserve the species is the rankest folderol. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Right-wingers again demonize the tiny delta smelt to protect Big Agriculture," 12 Aug. 2019 Such folderol culminates in a terrible crime, which doesn’t shock so much as perplex. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: Friendships, Rivalries, Hierarchies & Reversals," 21 June 2019 Director Hong Chang-pyo juggles a myriad of concepts, characters and dynamics, plus bits of flashbacks, action and folderol. Gary Goldstein,, "Tonal confusion abounds in Korean romantic comedy 'The Princess and the Matchmaker'," 9 Mar. 2018 The first task of Super Bowl Sunday, as always, is to thrash through the 17 or so hours of pregame folderol on NBC, NFL Network and ESPN. David Barron, Houston Chronicle, "Breakdown of Super Bowl pregame broadcasts," 2 Feb. 2018 Soulier ties together all those odd arm and torso twists, the karate kicks, rolls and the rest of the brutal folderol through meticulous repetition, directional shifts and gestural phrases passed from one dancer to the next. Laura Bleiberg,, "In Benjamin Millepied's L.A. Dance Project program, the name to remember is Noé Soulier," 3 Nov. 2017 For all the folderol of who descended from whom and how many titles trail one's name, the noblest and the basest Thrones characters cannot be categorized by dynastic heritage. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "'Game of Thrones': Does it really matter if Jon Snow is a royal?," 24 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'folderol.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of folderol

circa 1820, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for folderol

fol-de-rol, a nonsense refrain in songs

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Time Traveler for folderol

Time Traveler

The first known use of folderol was circa 1820

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Last Updated

31 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Folderol.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for folderol


How to pronounce folderol (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of folderol

chiefly US, informal + old-fashioned : foolish language, behavior, or ideas

More from Merriam-Webster on folderol

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for folderol

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with folderol

Comments on folderol

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


good-natured easy friendliness

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