fool

1 of 3

noun

plural fools
1
: a person lacking in judgment or prudence
Only a fool would ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet.
2
a
: a retainer (see retainer entry 1 sense 1) formerly kept in great households to provide casual entertainment and commonly dressed in motley with cap, bells, and bauble
b
: one who is victimized or made to appear foolish : dupe
History has made fools of many rash prophets.
3
a
: a person lacking in common powers of understanding or reason
b
: one with a marked propensity or fondness for something
a dancing fool
a fool for candy
4
: a cold dessert of pureed fruit mixed with whipped cream or custard

fool

2 of 3

adjective

: foolish, silly
barking its fool head off

fool

3 of 3

verb

fooled; fooling; fools

intransitive verb

1
a
: to behave foolishly
told the children to stop their fooling
see also fool around
b
: to meddle, tamper, or experiment especially thoughtlessly or ignorantly
Don't fool with that drill.
see also fool around with
2
a
: to play or improvise a comic role
b
: to speak in jest : joke
I was only fooling
3
: to contend or fight without serious intent or with less than full strength : toy
a dangerous man to fool with

transitive verb

1
: to make a fool of : deceive
2
obsolete : infatuate
3
: to spend on trifles or without advantage : fritter
used with away

Examples of fool in a Sentence

Noun those fools who ride motorcycles without wearing helmets Only a fool would ask such a silly question. You'd be a fool to believe what he tells you. You're making yourself look like a fool. Adjective The dog was barking its fool head off. Some fool driver kept trying to pass me! Verb When she first told us that she was getting married, we thought she was fooling. His disguise didn't fool anybody. He really had me fooled. Stop fooling yourself—she doesn't really love you.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
That’s just a fool’s errand and a great way to ensure this season is anything but charmed. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, 1 June 2024 Don’t let the shoes’ battered look fool you: The company prizes its artisanship above all else. Sasha Rogelberg, Fortune, 28 May 2024 His grandiloquent narration repeatedly expresses as much, along with assurances that greatness is his destiny, and that everyone around him is some manner of fool for not recognizing his genius. Jessica Kiang, Variety, 19 May 2024 Faith and work ethic has consistently reminded me that a fool can burn down a building, but brains and industry are required to create one. Armstrong Williams, Baltimore Sun, 31 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for fool 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fool.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun, Adjective, and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French fol, from Late Latin follis, from Latin, bellows, bag; akin to Old High German bolla blister, balg bag — more at belly

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

circa 1529, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of fool was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near fool

Cite this Entry

“Fool.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fool. Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

fool

1 of 2 noun
1
: a person who lacks good sense or judgment
2
: a person formerly kept in a noble or royal household to amuse with jests and pranks

fool

2 of 2 verb
1
a
: to spend time idly
just fooling around
b
: to meddle or tamper thoughtlessly or ignorantly
don't fool with that dial
2
: to speak or act in fun : joke
I was only fooling
3
: to make a fool of : trick

More from Merriam-Webster on fool

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