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tom·​fool ˈtäm-ˈfül How to pronounce tomfool (audio)
: a great fool : blockhead


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: extremely foolish, stupid, or doltish

Examples of tomfool in a Sentence

Adjective what kind of tomfool idea is this?

Word History



earlier Tom foole, from Tom, shortened form of Thomas, a proper name + foole fool entry 1

Note: The word was perhaps originally an appellation for a jester. The account rolls of Durham Abbey record disbursements made for a certain Thome Fole (also in Latin as Thomas Fatuus), presumably the name of a professional jester, for items of dress in the 1330's and for his funeral during the period 1356-57 (see Oxford English Dictionary, first edition, and Middle English Dictionary s.v. Tomme).


from attributive use of tomfool entry 1

First Known Use


1640, in the meaning defined above


1760, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tomfool was in 1640

Dictionary Entries Near tomfool

Cite this Entry

“Tomfool.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

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