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 But in a league where great play callers can hand-pick head coaching jobs, Shanahan’s skills are an elite commodity — one the Niners would be foolish to let go. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, "Kurtenbach: Kyle Shanahan showed us why he’s the top offensive coordinator in the NFL," 15 Sep. 2019 Mike would have been foolish not to listen to grandpa Carl. Henry Schulman,, "Giants’ Yastrzemski goes home to Boston remembering his best coach: His dad," 16 Sep. 2019 Shelling out big bucks for a pair of undersized point guards feels foolish. Michael Shapiro,, "How Will the Raptors Pivot Following Kawhi Leonard’s Departure?," 17 July 2019 This is foolish, and reminiscent of the coalition that backed Donald Trump for president. The Economist, "Which Boris would Britain get?," 20 June 2019 But even if the public considered him foolish for having turned away from the series, the decade following Chappelle’s departure also saw him being heralded as a sociocultural savant. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Dave Chappelle Doubles Down," 28 Aug. 2019 No matter how big the stakes become in Zim and Dib's battle for Earth's future, the special never fails to remind us of how foolish these rivals are in their battle to out-narcissist each other. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus," 16 Aug. 2019 So to pick a fight with members of Congress, which is going to force half of Congress to rally to their defense, is really foolish. New York Times, "Trump and Netanyahu Put Bipartisan Support for Israel at Risk," 16 Aug. 2019 Pelosi has long been against opening a formal impeachment inquiry, arguing that trying to impeach the president without overwhelming evidence and bipartisan support would be politically foolish. Jennifer Haberkorn,, "Rep. Katie Porter is latest Democrat to support impeachment inquiry," 17 June 2019

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

22 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Foolish.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 5 December 2019.

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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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