from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun One who is deficient in judgment, sense, or understanding.
- noun One who acts unwisely on a given occasion.
- noun One who has been tricked or made to appear ridiculous; a dupe.
- noun Informal A person with a talent or enthusiasm for a certain activity.
- noun A member of a royal or noble household who provided entertainment, as with jokes or antics; a jester.
- noun One who subverts convention or orthodoxy or varies from social conformity in order to reveal spiritual or moral truth.
- noun A dessert made of stewed or puréed fruit mixed with cream or custard and served cold.
- noun Archaic A mentally deficient person; an idiot.
- intransitive verb To deceive or trick; dupe.
- intransitive verb To confound or prove wrong; surprise, especially pleasantly.
- intransitive verb To speak or act facetiously or in jest; joke.
- intransitive verb To behave comically; clown.
- intransitive verb To feign; pretend.
- intransitive verb To engage in idle or frivolous activity.
- intransitive verb To toy, tinker, or mess.
- adjective Foolish; stupid.
- idiom (play/act) To act in an irresponsible or foolish manner.
- idiom (play/act) To behave in a playful or comical manner.
from The Century Dictionary.
- noun One who is deficient in intellect; a weak-minded or idiotic person.
- noun One who is deficient in judgment or sense; a silly or stupid person; one who manifests either habitual or occasional lack of discernment or common sense: chiefly used as a term of disparagement, contempt, or self-depreciation.
- noun One who counterfeits mental weakness or folly; a professional jester or buffoon; a retainer dressed in motley, with a pointed cap and bells on his head, and a mock scepter or bauble in his hand, formerly kept by persons of rank for the purpose of making sport. See
- noun Figuratively, a tool, toy, sport, butt, or victim: as, to be the fool of circumstances.
- noun A wanton, bad, or wicked person.
- noun A conical paper cap which dunces at school are sometimes compelled to wear by way of punishment.
- noun To act like one void of understanding.
- noun Synonyms and Simpleton, ninny, dolt, witling, blockhead. driveler.
- noun Harlequin, clown, jester. See
- Foolish; silly.
- noun A light paste of flour and water, like pie-crust.
- noun A sort of custard; a dish made of fruit crushed and scalded or stewed and mixed with whipped cream and sugar: as, gooseberry fool.
- To play the fool; act like a weak-minded or foolish person; potter aimlessly or mischievously; toy; trifle.
- To play the buffoon; act as a fool or jester.
- To make a fool of; expose to contempt; disappoint; deceive; impose on.
- To make foolish; infatuate.
- To beguile; cheat: as, to
foolone out of his money.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- intransitive verb To play the fool; to trifle; to toy; to spend time in idle sport or mirth.
- noun One destitute of reason, or of the common powers of understanding; an idiot; a natural.
- noun A person deficient in intellect; one who acts absurdly, or pursues a course contrary to the dictates of wisdom; one without judgment; a simpleton; a dolt.
- noun (Script.) One who acts contrary to moral and religious wisdom; a wicked person.
- noun One who counterfeits folly; a professional jester or buffoon; a retainer formerly kept to make sport, dressed fantastically in motley, with ridiculous accouterments.
- noun See under
April, Court, etc.
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word fool.
You know, 'fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.'
"The bottom line is that they were elected on a mandate to get the nation out of the mess in Iraq." Ann Althouse 2007
He removed the bandage from the part, and asked, "what fool had tied it up so clumsily;" _the fool_, as he well knew, being the house surgeon at his side.
Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 55, No. 343, May 1844 Various
I've been a damn 'fool if you want to know -- the biggest, damnedest fool on the face of creation.
Shakespeare is not pointing out, in 'The knave turns fool that runs away,' that the wise knave who runs away is really a 'fool with a circumbendibus, '' moral miscalculator as well as moral coward. '
Shakespearean Tragedy Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth 1893
_When he that is a fool walketh by the way side_, _his wisdom faileth him_, _and he saith to every one that he is a fool_.
Human Nature and Other Sermons Joseph Butler 1722
"He said there was a difference between being a 'fool for Christ 'and a plain damn fool," says Richard Crouter, author of the upcoming book "Reinhold Niebuhr: On Politics, Religion and Christian Faith."
Reach the Gardners at fool@ fool. com, or by regular mail to Motley Fool, PO Box 19529,
The News Tribune Blogs THE NEWS TRIBUNE 2010
"This falls under the heading of 'fool us once ... shame on them, fool us twice ... oh, never mind, they didn't even fool us once, '" Aboulafia said, calling it: "Dumb beyond belief, for more reasons than I can count."
I'm slowly becoming a cookin 'fool - or, perhaps, just a fool cookin'.
unknown title 2009
a forty years 'fool -- fool -- old fool, has old Ahab been!
Moby Dick: or, the White Whale Herman Melville 1855
oroboros commented on the word fool
"A fool and his money are soon parted", but how does a fool get any money to be parted from?
January 19, 2007
johnmperry commented on the word fool
"There's no fool like an old fool."
July 22, 2008
yarb commented on the word fool
It is said that the nobleman who has fooled away so much money upon her, has at length recovered his senses.
- Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 3 ch. 11
September 18, 2008