- the state or quality of being foolish; lack of understanding or sense.
- a foolish action, practice, idea, etc.; absurdity: the folly of performing without a rehearsal.
- a costly and foolish undertaking; unwise investment or expenditure.
- Architecture. a whimsical or extravagant structure built to serve as a conversation piece, lend interest to a view, commemorate a person or event, etc.: found especially in England in the 18th century.
- follies, a theatrical revue.
- Obsolete. wickedness; wantonness.
Origin of folly
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for follies
Hate is such a strong word, but Alan Jacobs nails it with this rant about the follies of group productivity.I Hate Extraverts
December 31, 2012
No stranger to the follies of the criminal-justice system, Mitnick believes the feds are after the wrong guys.The Godfather of Hacking
August 19, 2011
He talks to Shannon Donnelly about Off-Broadway talent and why Follies never made it to film.A Broadway Great Reveals His Secrets
November 12, 2010
I have no enmity to these ladies; I only despise them, or rather, their follies and their faults.Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10)
How kind has he ever been to all my follies, how tender and indulgent to all my wishes!The Last of the Mohicans
James Fenimore Cooper
In such circumstances I cannot seek to extenuate any of my faults or follies.Tales And Novels, Volume 8 (of 10)
I am afraid that I am about to suffer for the follies of my youth.The Letters of Robert Burns
I know that method of excusing all male weaknesses and follies.A Comedy of Marriage and Other Tales
Guy De Maupassant
- the state or quality of being foolish; stupidity; rashness
- a foolish action, mistake, idea, etc
- a building in the form of a castle, temple, etc, built to satisfy a fancy or conceit, often of an eccentric kind
- (plural) theatre an elaborately costumed revue
- evil; wickedness
- lewdness; wantonness
Word Origin and History for follies
"revue with glamorous female performers," 1908, from French folies (mid-19c.), from folie (see folly), probably in its sense of "extravagance" (cf. extravaganza).
early 13c., "mental weakness; unwise conduct" (in Middle English including wickedness, lewdness, madness), from Old French folie (12c.) "folly, madness, stupidity," from fol (see fool (n.)). Sense of "costly structure considered to have shown folly in the builder" is attested from 1650s. Used since Middle English of place names, especially country estates, as a form of Old French folie in its meaning "delight." Meaning "glamorous theatrical revue with lots of pretty girls" is from 1880, from French.