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 That’s why, some experts say, bigger companies with dedicated accountants and attorneys would have been foolish not to take advantage of the program. Washington Post, "Small business program scrutinized for loans to big firms," 7 July 2020 Maybe somewhere in this vast and complex nation there are some foolish people getting infected on purpose. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "“Covid Parties” Are Not a Thing," 2 July 2020 In other words: Right now, every American has a duty to not take foolish risks. Julie Beck, The Atlantic, "Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should," 30 June 2020 Robert Bateman, a historian and author, dismissed Hood as reckless and foolish. Sig Christenson,, "Push to purge Confederate names gets minimal traction around Fort Hood, but military is paying attention," 20 June 2020 But in fact, Never Trumpers now constitute a sizable voting bloc that Democrats would be foolish to alienate. Bruce Bartlett, The New Republic, "Can the Never Trumpers Deliver the Goods in 2020?," 15 June 2020 First, Armstrong hit a dynamic counter spin move on Smith that made the former All-Pro look foolish. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: 3 Cowboys who face sink-or-swim seasons in 2020, including position-switch candidate Chidobe Awuzie," 12 June 2020 Today my solution to the line-of-sight problem seems foolish. Natalie Krebs, Field & Stream, "What Happens When a Hit Deer Vanishes?," 29 May 2020 The notion or pretense that austerity is the refusal to burden our children with our debts is foolish at best. Marilynne Robinson, The New York Review of Books, "What Kind of Country Do We Want?," 27 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for foolish

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for foolish

Last Updated

10 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Foolish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for foolish


How to pronounce foolish (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for foolish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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