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

Dwight, not knowing he had just been blindsided by his head coach, came off as an arrogant, two-faced fool. Mike Bianchi, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Worst day of Dwight Howard's life was also one of worst days in Orlando Magic history," 18 June 2018 But as the saying has it, God has a special providence for fools, drunkards and the United States of America. Mike Kerrigan, WSJ, "Summer Jobs Teach Real-World Lessons," 31 May 2018 Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville made a bit of a fool out of himself on Tuesday, by incorrectly predicting the outcome of Liverpool's match against Roma. SI.com, "Gary Neville Still Holding Onto Roma Hope After Embarrassing Himself With Pre-Match UCL Prediction," 25 Apr. 2018 For Savouri, the easiest way to understand the efflorescence of theories and valuations being bandied about is to opt for a simple, overarching one: the greater fool theory. Lionel Laurent, Bloomberg.com, "What Bitcoin Is Really Worth May No Longer Be Such a Mystery," 19 Apr. 2018 Although Kim has a closet that's five times the size of my actual apartment (sob), ya girl stepped out in Los Angeles wearing a tank top, sans bra, because bras are for fools, and a pair of Yeezy sweatpants. Laura Beck, Seventeen, "Kim Kardashian Has Worn the Same Outfit for 3 Days Straight and I'm So Here for It," 19 June 2017 So then the problem becomes: If the talks are a failure, and their failure makes Trump look like a fool given how much he’s touted them, how does Trump react? Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The US military made a coin with Trump’s and Kim Jong Un’s faces on it," 21 May 2018 To those who have tasted and loved the ethereal, delicate, otherworldly Pinots of Fort Ross-Seaview, planting Cabernet Sauvignon — a variety for warmer, sunnier, drier climes — might sound like a fool’s errand. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, "On the far Sonoma coast, distinctive Cabernet comes from an unlikely vineyard," 20 Apr. 2018 Perhaps, Lesnar wants to know why he was made to look like a fool. Troy L. Smith, cleveland.com, "WrestleMania 34's biggest fight apparently happened after the show," 9 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

So, when Bundy delivered a curveball — a pitch that Bird had taken for a strike twice already in the game — the left-handed hitter was not fooled. New York Times, "A Yankees Blowout Rooted in a Single Impossible Decision," 11 July 2018 Dzyuba’s penalty kick fooled goalkeeper David De Gea to dive the wrong way. Graham Dunbar, BostonGlobe.com, "Russia shockingly eliminates Spain from World Cup in a shootout," 1 July 2018 Dzyuba’s penalty kick fooled goalkeeper David De Gea to dive the wrong way. Graham Dunbar, chicagotribune.com, "Russia eliminate Spain from World Cup in penalty kicks," 1 July 2018 For years, Holmes fooled men who walked into Theranos’s boardroom with accomplishments that most people would be in awe of. Yashar Ali, Daily Intelligencer, "The Reporter Who Took Down a Unicorn," 24 May 2018 Dallas Keuchel wasn't fooling many and was done after allowing six runs (five earned) on 13 hits in only 4 1/3 innings. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "Rangers balk at another weird way to lose to Astros," 10 June 2018 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

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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Statistics for fool

Last Updated

3 Nov 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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Comments on fool

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