fool·​har·​dy ˈfül-ˌhär-dē How to pronounce foolhardy (audio)
: foolishly adventurous and bold : rash
a foolhardy explorer
foolhardy investors
foolhardily adverb
foolhardiness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for foolhardy

adventurous, venturesome, daring, daredevil, rash, reckless, foolhardy mean exposing oneself to danger more than required by good sense.

adventurous implies a willingness to accept risks but not necessarily imprudence.

adventurous pioneers

venturesome implies a jaunty eagerness for perilous undertakings.

venturesome stunt pilots

daring implies fearlessness in courting danger.

daring mountain climbers

daredevil stresses ostentation in daring.

daredevil motorcyclists

rash suggests imprudence and lack of forethought.

a rash decision

reckless implies heedlessness of probable consequences.

a reckless driver

foolhardy suggests a recklessness that is inconsistent with good sense.

the foolhardy sailor ventured into the storm

Example Sentences

hikers who were foolhardy enough to remain on the summit during a thunderstorm it's foolhardy to go hiking during late fall without warm clothes
Recent Examples on the Web Some Republicans argue that the events prove the opposite: that regulations already on the books are not being effectively enforced, and that adding more would be foolhardy. Rob Copeland, New York Times, 16 May 2023 Trump and his inner circle also got badly caught out on a foolhardy bluff. Alex Thomas, The New Republic, 26 Aug. 2022 How many more must die or be injured in desperate but foolhardy attempts to fit in? Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press, 12 June 2022 These foolhardy reversals, plus the widespread belief south of the border that Biden would be softer on immigration than Trump, drove a major influx from the beginning of the new administration. The Editors, National Review, 11 May 2023 But relying so heavily on just two coffee species is starting to look foolhardy. WIRED, 16 Jan. 2023 Also concerning is that the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan almost a year ago because of President Joe Biden’s foolhardy decision to pull out all US troops from the country has given both al Qaeda and ISIS greater room to maneuver there, according to Tuesday’s UN report. Peter Bergen, CNN, 19 July 2022 Sports betting is now legal in Massachusetts, and betting against the Bruins feels foolhardy. Christopher L. Gasper,, 11 Apr. 2023 Not to be foolhardy. Mylène Dressler, Longreads, 11 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'foolhardy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of foolhardy was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near foolhardy

Cite this Entry

“Foolhardy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


fool·​har·​dy ˈfül-ˌhärd-ē How to pronounce foolhardy (audio)
: foolishly adventurous or bold
foolhardily adverb
foolhardiness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on foolhardy

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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