foo·​fa·​raw | \ ˈfü-fə-ˌrȯ How to pronounce foofaraw (audio) \

Definition of foofaraw

1 : frills and flashy finery
2 : a disturbance or to-do over a trifle : fuss

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Did You Know?

Foofaraw originates in the American West where it has been variously spelled as "fofaraw," "forfarraw," and "froufraw," among other spellings. In writings of the pioneer West, it names the frivolous trinkets, baubles, and gewgaws used in trade. Around the 1930s, the word's more common meaning of a fuss or brouhaha developed-probably from the to-do that showy foofaraw stirred up-and people began to settle on the spelling "foofaraw." Etymologists have speculated that this eye-catching word may have come about from a mishearing of Spanish fanfarrón, meaning "braggart" or "boaster." French froufrou, a word for the rustling of a woman's skirts or showy ornamentation, may have also influenced it, however. Another possible connection is the French expression fou faraud, meaning "foolish dandy."

Examples of foofaraw in a Sentence

the foofaraw that accompanies any big wedding

Recent Examples on the Web

What was Anne Boleyn up to while this whole Charles Brandon foofaraw was happening in England? Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Anne Boleyn," 25 May 2018

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

First Known Use of foofaraw

1848, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for foofaraw

origin unknown

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Dictionary Entries near foofaraw

food vacuole


food web





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Time Traveler for foofaraw

The first known use of foofaraw was in 1848

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with foofaraw

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for foofaraw

Comments on foofaraw

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


an act or instance of editing or removing

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