Thesaurus

silly

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of silly

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 lacking in seriousness or maturity
  • the matinee show was filled with a bunch of silly children making noise

Synonyms for silly

Words Related to silly

Near Antonyms for silly

Antonyms for silly

2 showing or marked by a lack of good sense or judgment
  • those silly movie producers who thought that audiences would fall for that gimmick all over again

Synonyms for silly

Words Related to silly

Phrases Synonymous with silly

Near Antonyms for silly

Antonyms for silly

3 so foolish or pointless as to be worthy of scornful laughter
  • had the silly notion that her latest marriage might last longer than her three previous ones

Synonyms for silly

Words Related to silly

Phrases Synonymous with silly

Near Antonyms for silly

4 suffering from mental confusion
  • stunning news that knocked me silly

Synonyms for silly

Words Related to silly

Phrases Synonymous with silly

Near Antonyms for silly

Antonyms for silly

silly

noun

Synonyms of silly (Entry 2 of 2)

as in fool, goose

Synonyms & Near Synonyms for silly

Antonyms & Near Antonyms for silly

  • sobersides
See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About silly

How is the word silly different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of silly are asinine, fatuous, foolish, and simple. While all these words mean "actually or apparently deficient in intelligence," silly suggests failure to act as a rational being especially by ridiculous behavior.

the silly antics of revelers

In what contexts can asinine take the place of silly?

In some situations, the words asinine and silly are roughly equivalent. However, asinine suggests utter and contemptible failure to use normal rationality or perception.

an asinine plot

When is it sensible to use fatuous instead of silly?

Although the words fatuous and silly have much in common, fatuous implies foolishness, inanity, and disregard of reality.

fatuous conspiracy theories

When could foolish be used to replace silly?

The words foolish and silly can be used in similar contexts, but foolish implies the character of being or seeming unable to use judgment, discretion, or good sense.

foolish stunts

When would simple be a good substitute for silly?

The words simple and silly are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, simple implies a degree of intelligence inadequate to cope with anything complex or involving mental effort.

considered people simple who had trouble with computers

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about silly

Time Traveler for silly

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Silly.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/silly. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on silly

Dictionary: Definition of silly

Nglish: Translation of silly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of silly for Arabic Speakers

Comments on silly

What made you want to look up silly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!