- a silly or stupid person; a person who lacks judgment or sense.
- a professional jester, formerly kept by a person of royal or noble rank for amusement: the court fool.
- a person who has been tricked or deceived into appearing or acting silly or stupid: to make a fool of someone.
- an ardent enthusiast who cannot resist an opportunity to indulge an enthusiasm (usually preceded by a present participle): He's just a dancing fool.
- a weak-minded or idiotic person.
- to trick, deceive, or impose on: They tried to fool him.
- to act like a fool; joke; play.
- to jest; pretend; make believe: I was only fooling.
- fool around,
- to putter aimlessly; waste time: She fooled around all through school.
- to philander or flirt.
- to be sexually promiscuous, especially to engage in adultery.
- fool away, to spend foolishly, as time or money; squander: to fool away the entire afternoon.
- fool with, to handle or play with idly or carelessly: to be hurt while fooling with a loaded gun; to fool with someone's affections.
- be nobody's fool, to be wise or shrewd.
Origin of fool1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for fooling
That ride or die act we have been fooling the world with obviously ain't working.The Chris Brown vs. Drake Feud Continues: Brown Claims Ex GF Karrueche Tran Cheated with Drizzy
December 7, 2014
Or perhaps she was fooling around with entertainment lawyer Kevin Yorn instead.Gwyneth Paltrow Haunts Coldplay’s Self-Conscious Breakup Album ‘Ghost Stories’
May 20, 2014
On balance, it's better than it is worse if the media are demanding proof and saying you're not fooling us twice.Syria, Iraq, and Proof
August 29, 2013
I can't tell you which of the demography deniers are fooling themselves, and which are trying to con the rest of us.The Demography Deniers' Numbers Racket
July 9, 2013
Whispers flooded Maryland politics that the Baltimore mayor was fooling around.Martin O’Malley, Tommy Carcetti and 2016
April 9, 2013
I wouldn't have minded humoring him and fooling about it a little.Her Father's Daughter
If our men get to fooling with their women, they'll spear the lot of us!The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
Warner's fooling amused them and relieved the painful tension of their minds.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
Was she fooling him, this girl with the angel-innocence of glance?St. Martin's Summer
Mr. Gladstone is fooling the people on both sides the water.Ireland as It Is
Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
- a person who lacks sense or judgement
- a person who is made to appear ridiculous
- (formerly) a professional jester living in a royal or noble household
- obsolete an idiot or imbecilethe village fool
- form the fool Caribbean to play the fool or behave irritatingly
- no fool a wise or sensible person
- play the fool or act the fool to deliberately act foolishly; indulge in buffoonery
- (tr) to deceive (someone), esp in order to make him or her look ridiculous
- (intr; foll by with, around with, or about with) informal to act or play (with) irresponsibly or aimlesslyto fool around with a woman
- (intr) to speak or act in a playful, teasing, or jesting manner
- (tr foll by away) to squander; fritterhe fooled away a fortune
- fool along US to move or proceed in a leisurely way
- informal short for foolish
- mainly British a dessert made from a purée of fruit with cream or custardgooseberry fool
Word Origin and History for fooling
late 13c., "silly or stupid person," from Old French fol "madman, insane person; idiot; rogue; jester," also "blacksmith's bellows," also an adjective meaning "mad, insane" (12c., Modern French fou), from Latin follis "bellows, leather bag" (see follicle); in Vulgar Latin used with a sense of "windbag, empty-headed person." Cf. also Sanskrit vatula- "insane," literally "windy, inflated with wind."
The word has in mod.Eng. a much stronger sense than it had at an earlier period; it has now an implication of insulting contempt which does not in the same degree belong to any of its synonyms, or to the derivative foolish. [OED]
Meaning "jester, court clown" first attested late 14c., though it is not always possible to tell whether the reference is to a professional entertainer or an amusing lunatic on the payroll. As the name of a kind of custard dish, it is attested from 1590s (the food also was called trifle, which may be the source of the name).
There is no foole to the olde foole [Heywood, 1546]
Feast of Fools (early 14c.), from Medieval Latin festum stultorum) refers to the burlesque festival celebrated in some churches on New Year's Day in medieval times. Fool's gold "iron pyrite" is from 1829. Fool's paradise "state of illusory happiness" is from mid-15c. Foolosopher, a most useful insult, turns up in a 1549 translation of Erasmus. Fool's ballocks is described in OED as "an old name" for the green-winged orchid.
mid-14c., "to be foolish, act the fool," from fool (n.). The meaning "to make a fool of" is recorded from 1590s. Also as a verb 16c.-17c. was foolify. Related: Fooled; fooling. Fool around is 1875 in the sense of "pass time idly," 1970s in sense of "have sexual adventures."
"foolish, silly," considered modern U.S. colloquial, but it is attested from early 13c., from fool (n.).