Definition of folly in English:


Syllabification: fol·ly
Pronunciation: /ˈfälē

noun (plural follies)

  • 2A costly ornamental building with no practical purpose, especially a tower or mock-Gothic ruin built in a large garden or park.
    More example sentences
    • The monument to the seventh Earl continued the tradition of follies and garden buildings begun in the 18th century.
    • Known as the Temple de l' Amour, the folly is now the client's summer residence.
    • Ruins themselves are reminiscent of purpose-built folly gardens of the eighteenth century.
  • 3 (Follies) A theatrical revue, typically with glamorous female performers: [in names]: the Ziegfeld Follies
    More example sentences
    • Her sister Doris had been employed to rehearse a group of dancing girls for a road show of the Follies for producer Ned Wayburn.
    • ‘I'm one of the lucky ones,’ she says of performing in the Follies.
    • The women, now much older, reminisce, rekindle old friendships, open old wounds, and perform some of their Follies numbers.


Middle English: from Old French folie 'madness', in modern French also 'delight, favorite dwelling' (compare with sense 2), from fol 'fool, foolish'.

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Pronunciation: skōSH
a small amount; a little