fool·​proof | \ ˈfül-ˌprüf How to pronounce foolproof (audio) \

Definition of foolproof

: so simple, plain, or reliable as to leave no opportunity for error, misuse, or failure a foolproof plan

Examples of foolproof in a Sentence

DNA fingerprinting gives police a virtually foolproof way to link a suspect to a crime scene.
Recent Examples on the Web Dutch ovens are suited for an open flame or bed of hot coals, and from tenderizing venison shoulder to baking cherry cobbler, a cast-iron Dutch oven is about as foolproof as cooking wild game gets. The Editors, Outdoor Life, "3 Things to Consider Before Buying a Dutch Oven," 7 Jan. 2021 For anyone who has never made jambalaya at home, this recipe is straightforward and nearly foolproof, and is a worthy contender to be in your regular dinner rotation. Washington Post, "7 one-pan recipes that max out on comfort, not dishes to wash," 30 Dec. 2020 The menu is fairly varied, and prep is almost foolproof. Gary Garth, USA TODAY, "No, cold-weather camping is not a terrible idea – and here's why you should try it," 27 Dec. 2020 The countdown to the holidays is on, which is exactly why a foolproof gift idea with fast shipping is key this time of year. Talia Gutierrez, Glamour, "The Best Ulta Gift Sets to Give (or Keep) This Year," 16 Nov. 2020 But his story underlines that the safety measure isn’t foolproof. Andrea Castillo, Los Angeles Times, "On United Airlines flight to LAX, he gave CPR to man dying of COVID-19," 24 Dec. 2020 Plato-Bryant acknowledged that drug tests aren’t foolproof, but said there are safeguards to avoid punishing people whose test results are inaccurate. Ashley Remkus |, al, "How court-ordered drug testing in Alabama poses impossible choices," 8 Dec. 2020 Plus, testing is not always foolproof because of the possibility of false negatives. Maggie Fox, CNN, "Masks are critical to stopping coronavirus spread, even at home, CDC says," 4 Dec. 2020 But as Nuzzo points out, those measures require resources and are not foolproof. Deborah Netburn, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus infections are higher than ever, but COVID-19 deaths are not. Why?," 25 Nov. 2020

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

1902, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for foolproof

Time Traveler

The first known use of foolproof was in 1902

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Last Updated

19 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Foolproof.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for foolproof



English Language Learners Definition of foolproof

: done, made, or planned so well that nothing can go wrong


fool·​proof | \ ˈfül-ˈprüf How to pronounce foolproof (audio) \

Kids Definition of foolproof

: done, made, or planned so well that nothing can go wrong a foolproof recipe

More from Merriam-Webster on foolproof

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for foolproof

Nglish: Translation of foolproof for Spanish Speakers

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