Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Exhibiting a lack of wisdom or good sense; foolish. See Synonyms at foolish.
  • adj. Lacking seriousness or responsibleness; frivolous: indulged in silly word play; silly pet names for each other.
  • adj. Semiconscious; dazed: knocked silly by the impact.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Pitiable; deserving of compassion; helpless.
  • adj. Simple, unsophisticated, ordinary; rustic, ignorant.
  • adj. foolish, showing a lack of good sense and wisdom; frivolous, trifling.
  • adj. irresponsible, showing irresponsible behaviors.
  • adj. playful, giggly.
  • adj. semiconscious, witless.
  • adj. of a fielding position, very close to the batsman; closer than short
  • adj. simple, not intelligent, refined.
  • n. A silly person; a fool.
  • n. A mistake.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Happy; fortunate; blessed.
  • adj. Harmless; innocent; inoffensive.
  • adj. Weak; helpless; frail.
  • adj. Rustic; plain; simple; humble.
  • adj. Weak in intellect; destitute of ordinary strength of mind; foolish; witless; simple.
  • adj. Proceeding from want of understanding or common judgment; characterized by weakness or folly; unwise; absurd; stupid.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Happy; fortunate; blessed.
  • Plain; simple; rustic; rude.
  • Simple-hearted; guileless; ingenuous; innocent.
  • Weak; impotent; helpless; frail.
  • Foolish, as a term of pity; deficient in understanding; weak-minded; witless; simple.
  • Foolish, as an epithet of contempt; characterized by weakness or folly; manifesting want of judgment or common sense; stupid or unwise: as, a silly coxcomb; a silly book; silly conduct.
  • Fatuous; imbecile; mentally weak to the verge of idiocy.
  • Weak in body: not in good health; sickly; weakly.
  • Synonyms Dull, etc. see simple.
  • Absurd, Silly, Foolish, etc. See a bsurd.
  • n. A silly person: as, what a silly you are!

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. dazed from or as if from repeated blows
  • adj. ludicrous, foolish
  • adj. inspiring scornful pity
  • n. a word used for misbehaving children
  • adj. lacking seriousness; given to frivolity

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English seli, silli, blessed, innocent, hapless, from Old English gesælig, blessed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Phonetic variant of seely. From Old English *sǣliġ, "blessed", (attested only in form ġesǣliġ), from Proto-Germanic *sēlīgaz. Cognate with West Frisian sillich, Dutch zalig, German selig. More at sely.

Examples

  • The term "silly season," in Washington, usually refers to the August congressional vacation... oh, excuse me, "district work period."

    Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points -- Obama's Fourteenth Option

  • In fact, even science has justified the term "silly season", with a US professor citing a cocktail of serotonin, cortisol, and dopamine - from all that sugary food and close family time - as the reason we feel less inhibited and highly strung around Christmas.

    NEWS.com.au | Top Stories

  • The dialogue must have only been written to provide difficulty for whoever had to speak it – Pak's moving story about the first AC on Carpathia who the writers named Tigger-99, a name silly enough to diffuse any seriousness the tale held.

    Outcasts: series one, episode five

  • Never mind that the term silly has to be the most benign insult I have ever used or heard.

    Don't Call Me Silly �� The Inherent Problems with Censoring Ad Hominem Attacks and Hate Speech

  • The dialogue must have only been written to provide difficulty for whoever had to speak it - Pak's moving story about the first AC on Carpathia who the writers named Tigger-99, a name silly enough to diffuse any seriousness the tale held.

    The Guardian World News

  • Many Americans FlyersRights members among them are dissatisfied and skeptical of what he calls "silly and ineffective security measures designed to obscure glaring weaknesses in a well-funded system that has had 10 years to get it right."

    Kate Hanni: Ten Years Later: Are Travelers Really Safer?

  • The break for Tennessee-born Taylor came in 1962, when arranger/composer Willie Dixon, impressed by her voice, got her a Chess recording contract and produced several singles and two albums for her, including the million-selling 1965 hit, "Wang Dang Doodle," which she called silly, but which launched her recording career.

    blues diva koko taylor, 1929-2009

  • A spokesman says the governor was joking and his words were being taken out of what he calls a silly entertainment context.

    CNN Transcript Oct 30, 2007

  • Johnson, who had shown no want of sympathy at the proper time, saw nothing in the partial disappointment of overrated expectations to warrant such ungoverned emotions, and rebuked him sternly for what he termed a silly affectation, saying that “No man should be expected to sympathize with the sorrows of vanity.”

    The Life of Oliver Goldsmith

  • But I will tell you this, it's at times like this, it's at times like this you, if you're thinking of trading the market or averaging down, you put in what I call silly bids, something that you ordinarily would think it'll never get there.

    CNN Transcript Jul 22, 2002

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  • In the game cricket, refers to fielders who are in a location quite close to the batsman.

    September 25, 2009

  • A municipality located in the province of Hainaut, Belgium.

    January 1, 2008