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 Sophie is outraged at his foolishness, but Héloïse understands. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Most Enthralling Movie of the Year," 4 Dec. 2019 The most extraordinary piece of carelessness, ineptitude, foolishness, folly. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, "The Fallen Worlds of Philip Pullman," 29 Sep. 2019 Everyone loves the movie, which is full of fun, pranks, foolishness and the tender reminder of what Christmas is all about — love and family. Randy Blaser,, "Column: Tourists are still flocking to the ‘Home Alone’ house. I get the appeal.," 12 Dec. 2019 Paula Patton — and her fabulous collection of boss lady fashions — have no time for your criminal foolishness in EW’s exclusive trailer for the new BET+ movie Sacrifice. Joey Nolfi,, "Paula Patton is a boss lady you DON'T want to cross in wild Sacrifice trailer," 27 Nov. 2019 Of course, our delight in these animal city dwellers doesn’t excuse foolishness. New York Times, "Respect the Hustle of Soda Can Raccoon and Murder Cat," 22 Nov. 2019 All of these moves were considered impractical by the foreign-policy establishment ruling both parties, just as Reagan’s determination to take down the Evil Empire was also once derided as cowboy foolishness. Bobby Jindal, National Review, "Why Trump Needed Someone Like John Bolton," 18 Sep. 2019 These types of jokes often concern Asian men’s masculinity, or lack thereof — or the Asian man’s helplessness in life, his neediness, his foolishness, his greed, his feminine demeanor and physicality. New York Times, "The Comedians Challenging Stereotypes About Asian-American Masculinity," 26 Aug. 2019 His Falstaff, a Rabelaisian mountain of self-regard and corruption, should be anchored in a potent tale of casting aside foolishness in favor of duty. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "The Folger turns one of Shakespeare’s histories into a problem play," 10 Sep. 2019

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

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

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Statistics for foolishness

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Foolishness.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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