fool·​ish | \ ˈfü-lish How to pronounce foolish (audio) \

Definition of foolish

1 : having or showing a lack of good sense, judgment, or discretion a foolish mistake She takes foolish risks.
2a : absurd, ridiculous He looked foolish in that hat.
b : marked by a loss of composure : nonplussed He felt foolish when he couldn't remember where he had parked the car.

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Other Words from foolish

foolishly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for foolish

simple, foolish, silly, fatuous, asinine mean actually or apparently deficient in intelligence. simple implies a degree of intelligence inadequate to cope with anything complex or involving mental effort. considered people simple who had trouble with computers foolish implies the character of being or seeming unable to use judgment, discretion, or good sense. foolish stunts silly suggests failure to act as a rational being especially by ridiculous behavior. the silly antics of revelers fatuous implies foolishness, inanity, and disregard of reality. fatuous conspiracy theories asinine suggests utter and contemptible failure to use normal rationality or perception. an asinine plot

Examples of foolish in a Sentence

He was wearing a foolish grin. She's been taking foolish risks. Those flashy clothes make her look foolish. She must feel foolish wearing those flashy clothes. I never thought you'd be foolish enough to believe him.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Experts who want top scores and don’t mind looking foolish often take risks. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, "Bridge: June 15, 2019," 15 June 2019 Count on several more episodes to come, neither man foolish enough to throw a punch. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, "Draymond Green’s plate is full against Pelicans," 5 May 2018 President Trump has a long history of mind-bogglingly foolish statements about climate change, most notorious of which is probably his 2012 Twitter declaration that the phenomenon is merely a Chinese hoax. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "President Trump Tells Piers Morgan That Polar Ice Caps Are Doing Great," 28 Jan. 2018 The press looks very foolish in this red-dot chase and is failing miserably at reporting the news in an objective, unbiased manner. WSJ, "Press Too Often Rises to the President’s Tweeted Bait," 12 Nov. 2018 Their next opponents would be foolish to take them lightly. Thomas Allnutt,, "Sweden book place in World Cup quarter-finals after edging past Switzerland," 3 July 2018 The true path forward would be the opposite of this — for the White House to admit that the wall is foolish and reopen the government. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The shutdown is intractable because Trump’s wall is ridiculous and Republicans know it," 8 Jan. 2019 Yet this a process Jocasta's lawyer assures them is impossible, foolish, and very expensive. Mehera Bonner, Harper's BAZAAR, "Outlander Season 4 Episode 2: Claire and Jamie Face the Realities of Life in America," 12 Nov. 2018 Putting a tombstone on this season would be foolish given how history has humiliated such declarations, but ending the 17-year playoff drought is looking slimmer by the day. Matt Calkins, The Seattle Times, "Mariners and Jerry Dipoto seem stuck with this starting rotation after lack of options at the trade deadline," 20 Aug. 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for foolish

see fool entry 1

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Statistics for foolish

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for foolish

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

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More Definitions for foolish



English Language Learners Definition of foolish

: having or showing a lack of good sense or judgment


fool·​ish | \ ˈfü-lish How to pronounce foolish (audio) \

Kids Definition of foolish

: showing or resulting from lack of good sense a foolish man a foolish choice

Other Words from foolish

foolishly adverb
foolishness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on foolish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with foolish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for foolish

Spanish Central: Translation of foolish

Nglish: Translation of foolish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of foolish for Arabic Speakers

Comments on foolish

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


having a desire to acquire more things

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