fool·​ish | \ˈfü-lish \

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

But the Franklin that emerges here is often bullheaded and foolish—even a cad. Sam Kean, WSJ, "‘Young Benjamin Franklin’ Review: Poor Richard Sows His Oats," 17 Sep. 2018 But when it is saved, the player looks foolish for attempting it. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "Sporting's Tim Melia likely had easiest penalty-kick save of his career at Salt Lake," 5 July 2018 Having her realize how foolish that is was healthy and self-affirming for me. Saleah Blancaflor /, NBC News, "In 'The Kiss Quotient', Helen Hoang uses writing to process her Autism diagnosis," 5 July 2018 By Covered California's estimate, the marketing cutback is penny-wise and plain foolish. Michael Hiltzik,, "The first projections for Trumpcare 2019 are in: Expect rate increases of up to 30%," 26 Jan. 2018 Young and foolish Later in the evening, the Masked One, as a distinguished gentleman of the leisure class, was startled to learn of a new phenomenon in the Carnival zeitgeist: the issue of cultural appropriation. Michael Dumas,, "Show Us Your Mardi Gras Gowns: MAMGA celebrates 80 years," 10 Feb. 2018 The people who upload the videos, however, and those who come after any woman foolish enough to argue against him, have no such qualms. Laurie Penny, Longreads, "Peterson’s Complaint," 12 July 2018 Whether this self-interest is venal or foolish is irrelevant. Nathaniel Rich, The Atlantic, "The Novel That Asks, ‘What Went Wrong With Mankind?’," 11 May 2018 That was a foolish move since the colonies, which had become leading exporters of agricultural and fish products, had more than enough food. Hoyt Hilsman, WSJ, "Tariffs Made America Great," 10 July 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

6 Dec 2018

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 \

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

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