fool·​ish·​ness | \ ˈfü-lish-nəs How to pronounce foolishness (audio) \

Definition of foolishness

1 : foolish behavior
2 : a foolish act or idea

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Examples of foolishness in a Sentence

the foolishness of going off to search for the fountain of youth couldn't listen to another second of their foolishness, so I told them to be quiet

Recent Examples on the Web

But once the safety net is unfurled, sending mixed signals was the height of foolishness, with the result that an even bigger, more controversial bailout was needed to corral the ensuing panic. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "What Really Happened in 2008," 18 Sep. 2018 But she, in all her weakness and foolishness and baseness and nothingness, was incapable of loving IT. . . Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: Stirring Up Fresh Life Endlessly," 21 Dec. 2018 Every tweet, meme, viral video, trending topic is some combination of inexplicable foolishness that sometimes choosing to being clueless is just the way to keep yourself sane. Verge Staff, The Verge, "The best memes of 2018, according to The Verge staff," 27 Dec. 2018 By Tom Verducci The Mets have made many dumb moves in recent years, but even entertaining the idea of trading Jacob deGrom and/or Noah Syndergaard would plumb new depths to their foolishness. Staff,, "Nine Innings: Jason Heyward's Turning Point, Expansion Possibilities and Bryce Harper's Struggles," 18 June 2018 How dare Patton invoke the good name of Run-DMC into his foolishness. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "GOP Senate Candidate Who Dressed as a Blackface 'Rapper' Issues Half-Ass Apology and Points Out His Black Friends," 18 June 2018 Then one scene later, the film will sharply pivot to comment on the foolishness of the whole game, before just ramping the silliness back up again. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Tag, You’re Not It," 14 June 2018 Annette Bening, Saoirse Ronan, Corey Stoll and Elisabeth Moss star in this adaptation of Anton Chekhov's classic play about misplaced love, art, fame and foolishness among family and friends on a Russian country estate. Kevin Crust,, "L.A. movie openings, May 11," 6 May 2018 Now adopted, Russia became the rationale for actions that should trouble Americans simply on account of their foolishness. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Clapper Disinformation Campaign," 29 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for foolishness

The first known use of foolishness was in the 15th century

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Comments on foolishness

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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