- 1A person who acts unwisely or imprudently; a silly person: I felt a bit of a foolMore example sentences
idiot, ass, halfwit, nincompoop, blockhead, buffoon, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, cretin, imbecile, dullard, moron, simpleton, clod• informal dope, ninny, chump, dimwit, goon, dumbo, dummy, dum-dum, dumb-bell, loon, jackass, bonehead, fathead, numbskull, dunderhead, chucklehead, knucklehead, muttonhead, pudding-head, thickhead, wooden-head, airhead, pinhead, lamebrain, pea-brain, birdbrain, zombie, jerk, nerd, dipstick, donkey, noodleBritish • informal nit, nitwit, numpty, twit, clot, goat, plonker, berk, prat, pillock, wally, git, wazzock, divvy, nerk, dork, twerp, charlie, mug, muppetIrish • informal gobdawNorth American • informal schmuck, bozo, boob, lamer, turkey, schlepper, chowderhead, dumbhead, goofball, goof, goofus, galoot, lummox, klutz, putz, schlemiel, sap, meatball, gink, cluck, clunk, ding-dong, dingbat, wiener, weeny, dip, simp, spud, coot, palooka, poop, squarehead, yo-yo, dingleberryUS • informal wing nutSouth African • informal momparaBritish • vulgar slang knobheadNorth American • vulgar slang asshat
- Dealing with drunken fools who don't know when to quit is the downside to any bar job.
- More than a necessary evil, it has become a mandatory fool's errand.
- We're all on a fool's errand, credit card in hand.
- 1.1 • archaic A person who is duped or imposed on: he is the fool of circumstancesMore example sentences
- I think Australians would resent this government if they saw they were being duped and treated like fools by them.
- But no; I was deceiving myself, living in a fool's paradise.
- However transitory the contentment is, one loves to live in a fool's paradise.
- 2 • historical A jester or clown, especially one retained in a royal or noble household.More example sentences
- In Twelfth Night, Feste plays the role of a humble clown employed by Olivia's father playing the licensed fool of their household.
- He, too, is an extension of More, both of his comic side in general and of his love of fools and clowns in particular, as reported by Erasmus.
- Samis are often stereotyped as the comical helpers of Santa Claus or, even more negatively, as drunken fools or jesters.
verbBack to top
- 1 [with object] Trick or deceive (someone); dupe: don’t be fooled into paying out any more of your hard-earned cash she tried to fool herself that she had stopped loving himMore example sentences
deceive, trick, play a trick on, hoax, dupe, take in, mislead, delude, hoodwink, bluff, beguile, gull, make a fool of, outwit; swindle, defraud, cheat, double-cross• informal con, bamboozle, pull a fast one on, pull someone's leg, take for a ride, pull the wool over someone's eyes, throw dust in someone's eyes, put one over on, have on, diddle, fiddle, swizzle, rip off, do, sting, gyp, shaftBritish • informal sell a pup toAustralian • informal pull a swifty on
- Do you mean to suggest that Chinese people are fooled or fool themselves into living in a false world?
- She was fooled into using her fame to help promote a slimming drink, which turned out to be tea.
- The design is practically flawless, the use of textures and atmosphere so real that you are fooled into a sense of realism.
- 2 [no object] Act in a joking, frivolous, or teasing way: some lads in the pool were fooling aroundMore example sentences
- These may only be laughing and fooling about, but given all the publicity about drugs etc, people are afraid to walk past or talk to them.
- Our engineers were fooling about in the studio singing vulgar songs and making rude remarks in front of the microphone.
- Destined for academic greatness, Masters says he still had time to fool about at grammar school in Richmond, North Yorkshire.
- 2.1 [no object] (fool around) chiefly North American Engage in casual or extramarital sexual activity.More example sentences
- I think he's fooling around with somebody and wants to have the both of us around to play these silly mind games with.
- However, he neglected to tell me that he had a girlfriend for the entire three years we'd been fooling around.
- But for most of history, they just did the fooling around without calling it anything.
adjective[attributive] • informal Back to top
- Foolish; silly: that damn fool waiterMore example sentences
- Soppy fool dedications over and done with, I leave you with the following thought, supplied by the ever-reliable source of quotes that is Hamish McT.
- Lord knows nothing else in the fool thing works.
- Sorry about the fool thing, I just got carried away.
be no (or nobody's) fool
- Be a shrewd or prudent person.More example sentences
- Alex was very clever at school and was nobody's fool.
- George, who was nobody's fool, didn't believe him.
- The Cardinal, who was nobody's fool, knew fine what kind of a send-off he could expect.
a fool and his money are soon parted
- • proverb A foolish person spends money carelessly and will soon be penniless.More example sentences
- Absent government-imposed distortions, a fool and his money are soon parted.
- As the saying goes, a fool and his money are soon parted.
- After all, a fool and his money are soon parted, and the victims of these scams have brought financial misfortune on themselves, isn't that right?
fools rush in where angels fear to tread
- • proverb People without good sense or judgement will have no hesitation in tackling a situation that even the wisest would avoid.More example sentences
- Perhaps it's foolish, but fools rush in, where angels fear to tread.
make a fool of
- Trick or deceive (someone) so that they look foolish.More example sentences
- He is made a fool of and all's well that ends well.
- I dragged her away, demanding to know what was going on between them - I wasn't prepared to be made a fool of like this.
- Nobody makes a fool of Sr. Giovanni and lives to tell the tale!
- (make a fool of oneself) Behave in an incompetent or inappropriate way that makes one appear foolish.More example sentences
- Meanwhile, Nicholls was making a fool of himself whenever his band appeared; seeming childish and conceited in interviews and crazed on stage.
- Durkee had never appeared on camera before and feared making a fool of herself.
- Liam smiled and appeared to be refusing to look at me while I made a fool of myself.
more fool ——
- Used to convey that a specified person is behaving unwisely: if suckers will actually pay to do the work, more fool themMore example sentences
- Heh, more fool us - we had no idea as to the welcome awaiting us.
- If that's what they wanna pay him, then more fool them!
- I think that's beyond the pale - although, I suppose, it's more fool them for using it.
play (or act) the fool
- Behave in a playful or silly way.More example sentences
clown about/around, act the clown, act the fool, fool about/around, mess about/around, monkey about/around, footle about/around, joke, play pranks, indulge in horseplayBritish • informal muck about/around, fanny about/around• dated play the giddy goat
- Have things changed this much, or am I just once again playing the fool by believing him?
- They were acting the fool and I just caught them in the act of acting the fool.
- But the film belongs to Clooney, who plays the fool and the charmer with polished, devil-may-care ease.
there's no fool like an old fool
- • proverb The foolish behaviour of an older person seems especially foolish as they are expected to think and act more sensibly than a younger one.More example sentences
- Just goes to show, there's no fool like an old fool, especially an old fool that trusts the piskies.
- As for Khan, there's no fool like an old fool.
- There's no fool like an old fool, these old goats don't know how foolish they look.
you could have fooled me!
- Used to express cynicism or doubt about an assertion: ‘Fun, was it? Well, you could have fooled me!’More example sentences
- Well, with that act you pulled off, you could have fooled me!
- Well, you could have fooled me -- the humor in this book demonstrates that you are indeed a funny person.
Middle English: from Old French fol 'fool, foolish', from Latin follis 'bellows, windbag', by extension 'empty-headed person'.
noun[mass noun, usually with modifier] chiefly British
- A cold dessert made of pureed fruit mixed or served with cream or custard: raspberry fool with creamMore example sentences
- Fruit fools, jellies, and ice creams were popular desserts.
- For dessert, we ordered the rhubarb and strawberry fool, with stem ginger ice cream.
- Use it trickled over ice-cream sundaes, on pancakes, or with the banana fool above.
late 16th century: perhaps from fool1.