adjective (sillier, silliest)
- 1Having or showing a lack of common sense or judgement; absurd and foolish: another of his silly jokes ‘Don’t be silly!’ she saidMore example sentences
foolish, stupid, unintelligent, idiotic, brainless, mindless, witless, imbecilic, imbecile, doltish; imprudent, thoughtless, rash, reckless, foolhardy, irresponsible; mad, erratic, unstable, scatterbrained, feather-brained; flighty, frivolous, giddy, fatuous, inane, immature, childish, puerile, half-baked, empty-headed, half-witted, slow-witted, weak-minded• informal daft, crazy, dotty, scatty, loopy, screwy, soft, brain-dead, cretinous, thick, thickheaded, birdbrained, pea-brained, pinheaded, dopey, dim, dim-witted, dippy, pie-faced, fat-headed, blockheaded, boneheaded, lamebrained, chuckleheaded, dunderheaded, wooden-headed, muttonheaded, damfoolBritish • informal divvyScottish & Northern English • informal glaikitSouth African • informal dofWest Indian • informal dotish• dated tomfoolunwise, imprudent, thoughtless, foolish, stupid, idiotic, senseless, mindless, fatuous; rash, reckless, foolhardy, irresponsible, inadvisable, injudicious, ill-considered, misguided, inappropriate, illogical, irrational, unreasonable; hare-brained, absurd, ridiculous, ludicrous, laughable, risible, farcical, preposterous, asinine
- It was silly, extremely foolish and childish of me.
- Yes, it is all a bit familiar - but, sadly, nowhere near as delightfully absurd and unrepentantly silly as the Ghostbusters movies.
- We are frail, we are human, we make mistakes, we do foolish things, silly things.
- 1.1Ridiculously trivial or frivolous: he would brood about silly thingsMore example sentences
- Brainball may seem like a ridiculously silly game, but it demonstrates how a machine can know something about your emotional state.
- It's a deeply silly and trivial entertainment cheerfully devoid of any nutritional or calorific value whatever.
- Ack, it sounds so silly and trivial now, but I was literally shaking with rage at the time.
- 1.2 [as complement] Used to convey that an activity or process has been engaged in to such a degree that someone is no longer capable of thinking or acting sensibly: he often drank himself silly his mother worried herself silly over himMore example sentences
- But she still worried herself silly every time a visit was coming up.
- He drank himself silly and had to take a cab home.
- 2 • archaic (Especially of a woman, child, or animal) helpless; defenceless.More example sentences
- In many of the tales the fairies are tiny, silly, helpless creatures.
- She is silly, helpless, Irish, very poor, and 28 years of age.
- 3 [attributive] Cricket Denoting fielding positions very close to the batsman: silly mid-onMore example sentences
- Illingworth was content with two short legs, silly mid-on, slip and gulley as he wheeled away for less than one run an over.
- Ian Bell, surrounded by a slip, gully, short leg and captain Ricky Ponting at silly mid-off, became Warne's second lbw victim for eight.
- Sourav Ganguly, once legendarily dismissive of spinners but now woefully out of form, was dropped by Younis Khan at silly mid-off.
noun (plural sillies)• informal Back to top
- A foolish person (often used as a form of address): come on, sillyMore example sentences
nincompoop, dunce, simpleton• informal nitwit, ninny, dimwit, dope, dumbo, dummy, chump, goon, jackass, fathead, bonehead, chucklehead, knucklehead, lamebrain, clod, pea-brain, pudding-head, thickhead, wooden-head, pinhead, airhead, birdbrain, scatterbrain, noodle, donkeyNorth American • informal bozo, boob, schlepper, goofball, goof, goofus, galoot, lummox, dip, simp, spud, coot, palooka, poop, yo-yo, dingleberrySouth African • informal mompara
- Quit interrupting the news bulletin in that infuriating manner when you don't actually have any results at all to hand, sillies.
- Then he says huitlacoche is corn fungus, not a nervous breakdown, sillies.
- Apparently, 1/3 of American men have not had a checkup in the past year, you sillies.
the silly season
- High summer regarded as the season when newspapers often publish trivial material because of a lack of important news.More example sentences
- It's summer, the silly season in the news business.
- Still, it's not all bad: lack of news brings us the silly season.
- ‘It has been a bit back to the old days this summer when the silly season really meant the silly season,’ he says.
- More example sentences
- The custom involved a group ‘simply or sillily and without ceremony or introduction’ walking into people's houses to check if the clock was in good repair.
- I then realised I actually quite like the police station, with its spiralling steps, and bizarre platforms on sillily long stilts.
- They were rather sillily teaching them how to do it for each other.
- More example sentences
- Anyway, it's boringly easy to list the sillinesses of this idea.
- That the president of failing company would be driven to utter such silliness is of course nothing new.
- Does that mean they are ‘breaking the rules’ by mixing agendas, silliness and seriousness?
late Middle English (in the sense 'deserving of pity or sympathy'): alteration of dialect seely 'happy', later 'innocent, feeble', from a West Germanic base meaning 'luck, happiness'. The sense 'foolish' developed via the stages 'feeble' and 'unsophisticated, ignorant'.