tomfool

1 of 2

noun

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

tomfool

2 of 2

adjective

: extremely foolish, stupid, or doltish

Examples of tomfool in a Sentence

Adjective what kind of tomfool idea is this?

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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).

Adjective

from attributive use of tomfool entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

1640, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

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.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tomfool. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

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