fool

noun
\ ˈfül How to pronounce fool (audio) \

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

Don’t let the sunshine fool you: Summer is still 82 days away. Vogue, "Eccentric Layering Was the Trickle-Up Trend That Ruled on and off the Fall 2019 Runways," 11 Mar. 2019 Where to Stay For the See-and-be-Seen: The Parker Palm Springs Don't let the humble facade of the Parker Palm Springs fool you. Charlotte Chilton, Town & Country, "What to Do on Your Next Trip to Palm Springs," 5 Mar. 2019 But don't let her sunny disposition and sweet smile fool you. Sydney Bucksbaum, Teen Vogue, "Meet the "Legacies" Cast and the Characters They Play in the Latest Supernatural Drama from "The Vampire Diaries" Universe," 24 Oct. 2018 Don't let that number fool you, though; small tweaks like turning down shadow resolution and disabling ultra-quality water make the game smoothly playable on the MacBook Pro at medium-high settings. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "2018 15-inch MacBook Pro review: Better, faster, stronger?," 24 July 2018 The Central American caravan stunt is unlikely to turn out any differently for Democrats, who are either misreading public sentiment on immigration or think voters are fools. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, "Democrats Struggle to Confront Trump-Era Reality," 30 Oct. 2018 During the games, national team coaches will send out forms excusing fans from work ; and wise managers (including news editors) would be fools to expect too much. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "World Cup 2018 prediction: Mexico wins, Trump pays for the cake.," 12 June 2018 But secondly, don’t let those numbers, Kara, fool you. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Why tech companies need to reinvent themselves every three to four years," 10 Oct. 2018 Value: Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment, $105 Don’t let the name fool you: This face wash isn’t at all cement-y. Elizabeth Siegel, Allure, "The October 2018 Allure Beauty Box," 1 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

However, you shouldn't be fooled by those 800-plus thread-count sheets. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "How Often Should You Replace Your Sheets Set?," 11 Jan. 2019 Street Spotting: Shop 5 of Spring’s Most Covetable Shoe Trends Don’t let the sun rays fool you into thinking it’s sandal weather just yet. Vogue, "Street Spotting: Shop 5 of Spring’s Most Covetable Shoe Trends," 19 Mar. 2019 But don’t let the minutiae fool you: bringing off-the-shelf computing power to space is a major backbone for an age of commercialization. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Saga of a Stranded Space Station Supercomputer," 18 Mar. 2019 The Swedish retailer may be best known for its minimalist flat-pack furniture that’s a staple of first apartments everywhere, but don’t let that fool you: IKEA is a serious player in the world of kitchen design. Jessica Dailey, Good Housekeeping, "All You Need," 11 Feb. 2019 Don't let the adorable creatures fool you, this game hides some real teeth. Charlie Theel, Ars Technica, "Root is a terrific—and fully asymmetric—woodland wargame," 29 Sep. 2018 But don't let its gentleness fool you — this stuff is still just as effective, thanks to those papaya fruit enzymes, which chemically slough away dead skin without any sort of scrubbing involved. Sophie Wirt, Allure, "Exclusive: Tatcha Is Giving Its Fan-Favorite Rice Enzyme Powder a Makeover," 31 July 2018 Don't let the pretty horses and rosy sunsets fool you. Hank Stuever, chicagotribune.com, "A gruff Kevin Costner has a hard time corralling 'Yellowstone's' wild herd of subplots," 14 June 2018 So don’t let the looks fool you … the SHERP has been demonstrating only a fraction of its range at Eurosatory. Allison Barrie, Fox News, "Eurosatory 2018: Huge wheeled military ATV swims and surprises," 12 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, Adjective, and Verb

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

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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
US, informal : a person who enjoys something very much
chiefly British : 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 How to pronounce fool (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on fool

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fool

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fool

Spanish Central: Translation of fool

Nglish: Translation of fool for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fool for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fool

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