fool

noun
\ˈfül \

Definition of fool 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a person lacking in judgment or prudence Only a fool would ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet.

2a : a retainer (see retainer entry 1 sense 1) 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 History has made fools of many rash prophets.

3a : 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 : a cold dessert of pureed fruit mixed with whipped cream or custard

fool

adjective

Definition of fool (Entry 2 of 3)

: foolish, silly barking its fool head off

fool

verb
fooled; fooling; fools

Definition of fool (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : 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

2a : to play or improvise a comic role

b : to speak in jest : joke I was only fooling

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

transitive verb

1 : to make a fool of : deceive

2 obsolete : infatuate

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

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Examples of fool in a Sentence

Noun

those fools who ride motorcycles without wearing helmets Only a fool would ask such a silly question. You'd be a fool to believe what he tells you. You're making yourself look like a fool.

Adjective

The dog was barking its fool head off. Some fool driver kept trying to pass me!

Verb

When she first told us that she was getting married, we thought she was fooling. His disguise didn't fool anybody. He really had me fooled. Stop fooling yourself—she doesn't really love you.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Adam Goldberg, from AGoldPhoto in Tampa: Don't be afraid to make a fool of yourself to get a good reaction out of your pet for the photo. Cassie Armstrong, OrlandoSentinel.com, "All American Pet Photo Day: The picture pros share their tips," 11 July 2018 The Warriors made fools of the rest of the NBA on Monday, reportedly agreeing to a one-year, $5.3 million contract with DeMarcus Cousins. Rohan Nadkarni, SI.com, "Grades: Warriors Win the Summer With DeMarcus Cousins Signing," 2 July 2018 Be prepared for an even more authoritarian decent when the curtain is pulled back on this totally unwizardly dolt and his klan of dangerous fools. Tyler Mccarthy, Fox News, "Peter Fonda sorry for Barron Trump tweet but his tweets often go too far," 22 June 2018 And the hallucinatory spirit that has made a fool of many a mortal is making a monkey of me. Mark Seal, WSJ, "The Tequila Gold Rush," 19 June 2018 Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images BlacKkKlansman is about an undercover sting operation that makes fools of the KKK The bulk of BlacKkKlansman is Stallworth’s story, based on his book Black Klansman. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman draws a ham-fisted line from white supremacy’s past to its present," 15 May 2018 Likewise, in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus and the parable of the rich fool, the wealthy are condemned because of their conspicuous consumption and neglect of the poor. David B. Gowler, Fortune, "Commentary: Let’s Be Honest: Paul Ryan Would Fire Jesus as House Chaplain," 1 May 2018 The people have the power to redeem the work of fools, but Patti Smith has the power to breathe new life into her most celebrated work with surprises to spare. Hilary Hughes, Billboard, "Patti Smith Performs With Bruce Springsteen, Michael Stipe At 'Horses' Documentary Premiere," 24 Apr. 2018 Who dares be the next to ride the carousel of fools? Deena Zaru, CNN, "Jim Carrey has been trolling Trump and the GOP with paintings. Here are the top 11," 30 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That fooled some investors for a few minutes, causing a momentary surge in Google’s stock price in after-hours trading. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Why Google's Stock Price Leapt and Crashed In an Instant," 24 Apr. 2018 Apparently, the lighter blotches in the center of the pelvis (framed by darker tones along the outer leg) should fool my pals into seeing a taller, slenderer version of me. Kelly Bastone, Outside Online, "Tested: The North Face's Butt-Slimming Tights," 10 Apr. 2018 The Ducks' career strikeouts leader can fool hitters at the highest level, too, as evidenced by his 180 strikeouts in his first 200 big-league innings. OregonLive.com, "Locals in MLB: Where former Ducks, Beavers, Oregon high school stars are in 2018," 29 Mar. 2018 There’s no right or wrong way to secure a SCOBY, and don’t be fooled by appearances. Allison Young, Good Housekeeping, "How To Finally Learn To Make Your Own Delicious Kombucha," 16 Jan. 2018 Don’t be fooled by Ariana Grande/Pete Davidson and Hailey Baldwin/Justin Bieber — Emily Ratajkowski was the first celeb (this year) to do a surprise, post-breakup engagement. Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "See Emily Ratajkowski’s Massive Engagement Ring for the First Time," 12 July 2018 Do not be fooled into thinking that less expensive, similar silhouette shoes will work. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Vogue Staffers Pick the Most Chic and Comfortable Shoes to Wear to Work This Summer," 28 June 2018 But don’t be fooled, there’s still plenty of action to catch on the club’s remaining 17 courts. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "When is Wimbledon 2018? Your Ultimate Guide to Tennis' Biggest Tournament," 25 June 2018 But don't be fooled into believing Bagley is all about beats and lyrics and not basketball. Jason Jones, sacbee, "'Different side of me': Kings rookie Bagley plays to his own beat and raps to it, too," 23 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fool.' 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 fool

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1593, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for fool

Noun

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

Adjective

see fool entry 1

Verb

see fool entry 1

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Learn More about fool

Statistics for fool

Last Updated

22 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fool

The first known use of fool was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for fool

fool

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fool

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

fool

verb

English Language Learners Definition of fool (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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

fool

noun
\ˈfül \

Kids Definition of fool

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person without good sense or judgment

2 : jester

fool

verb
fooled; fooling

Kids Definition of fool (Entry 2 of 2)

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

2 : trick entry 2 Don't let them fool you.

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

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

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