adjective fool·ish \ ˈfü-lish \
Updated on: 2 Feb 2018

Definition of foolish

1 : having or showing a lack of good sense, judgment, or discretion
  • a foolish mistake
  • She takes foolish risks.
2 a : 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.



Examples of foolish in a Sentence

  1. He was wearing a foolish grin.

  2. She's been taking foolish risks.

  3. Those flashy clothes make her look foolish.

  4. She must feel foolish wearing those flashy clothes.

  5. I never thought you'd be foolish enough to believe him.

Recent Examples of foolish from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of foolish

see 1fool

Synonym Discussion of 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

FOOLISH Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of foolish for English Language Learners

  • : having or showing a lack of good sense or judgment

FOOLISH Defined for Kids


adjective fool·ish \ ˈfü-lish \

Definition of foolish for Students

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





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an inn where caravans rest at night

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