American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. One who is deficient in judgment, sense, or understanding.
- n. One who acts unwisely on a given occasion: I was a fool to have quit my job.
- n. One who has been tricked or made to appear ridiculous; a dupe: They made a fool of me by pretending I had won.
- n. Informal A person with a talent or enthusiasm for a certain activity: a dancing fool; a fool for skiing.
- n. A member of a royal or noble household who provided entertainment, as with jokes or antics; a jester.
- n. One who subverts convention or orthodoxy or varies from social conformity in order to reveal spiritual or moral truth: a holy fool.
- n. A dessert made of stewed or puréed fruit mixed with cream or custard and served cold.
- n. Archaic A mentally deficient person; an idiot.
- v. To deceive or trick; dupe: "trying to learn how to fool a trout with a little bit of floating fur and feather” ( Charles Kuralt).
- v. To confound or prove wrong; surprise, especially pleasantly: We were sure they would fail, but they fooled us.
- v. Informal To speak or act facetiously or in jest; joke: I was just fooling when I said I had to leave.
- v. Informal To behave comically; clown.
- v. Informal To feign; pretend: He said he had a toothache but he was only fooling.
- v. To engage in idle or frivolous activity.
- v. To toy, tinker, or mess: shouldn't fool with matches.
- adj. Informal Foolish; stupid: off on some fool errand or other.
- fool around Informal To engage in idle or casual activity; putter: was fooling around with the old car in hopes of fixing it.
- fool around Informal To engage in frivolous activity; make fun.
- fool around Informal To engage in casual, often promiscuous sexual acts.
- fool away To waste (time or money) foolishly; squander: fooled away the week's pay on Friday night.
- idiom. play To act in an irresponsible or foolish manner.
- idiom. play To behave in a playful or comical manner.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One who is deficient in intellect; a weak-minded or idiotic person.
- n. 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.
- n. 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 bauble.
- n. Figuratively, a tool, toy, sport, butt, or victim: as, to be the fool of circumstances.
- n. A wanton, bad, or wicked person.
- n. A conical paper cap which dunces at school are sometimes compelled to wear by way of punishment.
- n. To act like one void of understanding.
- n. Synonyms and Simpleton, ninny, dolt, witling, blockhead. driveler.
- n. Harlequin, clown, jester. See zany.
- Foolish; silly.
- 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 fool one out of his money.
- n. A light paste of flour and water, like pie-crust.
- n. A sort of custard; a dish made of fruit crushed and scalded or stewed and mixed with whipped cream and sugar: as, gooseberry fool.
- n. pejorative A person with poor judgment or little intelligence.
- n. historical A jester; a person whose role was to entertain a sovereign and the court (or lower personages).
- n. informal Someone who very much likes something specified.
- n. cooking A type of dessert made of puréed fruit and custard or cream.
- n. often capitalized A particular card in a tarot deck.
- v. To trick; to make a fool of someone.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A compound of gooseberries scalded and crushed, with cream; -- commonly called
- n. One destitute of reason, or of the common powers of understanding; an idiot; a natural.
- n. 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.
- n. (Script.) One who acts contrary to moral and religious wisdom; a wicked person.
- n. One who counterfeits folly; a professional jester or buffoon; a retainer formerly kept to make sport, dressed fantastically in motley, with ridiculous accouterments.
- v. To play the fool; to trifle; to toy; to spend time in idle sport or mirth.
- v. To infatuate; to make foolish.
- v. To use as a fool; to deceive in a shameful or mortifying manner; to impose upon; to cheat by inspiring foolish confidence.
- v. fool or hoax
- v. make a fool or dupe of
- n. a person who lacks good judgment
- v. spend frivolously and unwisely
- n. a professional clown employed to entertain a king or nobleman in the Middle Ages
- v. indulge in horseplay
- n. a person who is gullible and easy to take advantage of
- From Middle English fōl ("fool"), from Old French fol (French fou ("mad")) from Latin follis. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English fol, from Old French, from Late Latin follis, windbag, fool, from Latin follis, bellows. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“You know, 'fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.”
“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.”
“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. ”
“_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_.”
“Reach the Gardners at fool@ fool. com, or by regular mail to Motley Fool, PO Box 19529,”
“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.”
“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.”
“a forty years 'fool -- fool -- old fool, has old Ahab been!”
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