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

Definition of folderol

1 : a useless ornament or accessory : trifle
2 : nonsense

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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 But then there’s some folderol with magic puppets — in comic books, puppets are always magic, so never take your eyes off the little buggers — resulting in Wanda getting possessed by an ancient Elder God named Chthon. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "With ‘WandaVision,’ nothing is ever as it appears: Captain Comics," 23 Jan. 2021 As this folderol was brewing, Matt started the rose ceremony. oregonlive, "‘The Bachelor’ 2021: Portland-area bachelorettes try to survive group date, Victoria’s antics (recap)," 12 Jan. 2021 But even without the virus crisis, Philip would have sought to downplay public folderol about his birthday, in keeping with his non-nonsense personality. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Prince Philip turns 99: The Queen's husband marks a historic birthday in no-fuss way," 11 June 2020 There’s no folderol, just the facts lined up as if in composition class, the fish cooked slowly in a low oven so that the fat eases out of the flesh to combine with the tart brightness of the lemon juice. Sam Sifton, New York Times, "The Simplest Salmon," 26 Feb. 2020 Kelley seems a little too wised-up for this folderol, and Peter seemed to be urging her to rise to the occasion a bit more. oregonlive, "‘The Bachelor’ 2020: How to watch this week’s bonus, Episode 6, Season 24, online without cable," 5 Feb. 2020 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

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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Cite this Entry

“Folderol.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of folderol

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

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