- resulting from or showing a lack of sense; ill-considered; unwise: a foolish action, a foolish speech.
- lacking forethought or caution.
- trifling, insignificant, or paltry.
Origin of foolish
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1, 2. senseless, vacant, vapid, simple, witless. Foolish, fatuous, silly, inane, stupid, asinine imply weakness of intellect and lack of judgment. Foolish implies lack of common sense or good judgment or, sometimes, weakness of mind: a foolish decision; The child seems foolish. Fatuous implies being not only foolish, dull, and vacant in mind, but complacent and highly self-satisfied as well: fatuous and self-important; fatuous answers. Silly denotes extreme and conspicuous foolishness; it may also refer to pointlessness of jokes, remarks, etc.: silly and senseless behavior; a perfectly silly statement. Inane applies to silliness that is notably lacking in content, sense, or point: inane questions that leave one no reply. Stupid implies natural slowness or dullness of intellect, or, sometimes, a benumbed or dazed state of mind; it is also used to mean foolish or silly: well-meaning but stupid; rendered stupid by a blow; It is stupid to do such a thing. Asinine originally meant like an ass; it applies to witlessly stupid conversation or conduct and suggests a lack of social grace or perception: He failed to notice the reaction to his asinine remarks. 1. imprudent, unreasonable, foolhardy, irrational; thoughtless, nonsensical, ridiculous, absurd, pointless, preposterous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for foolishness
At the first glance I saw she had been punished for her foolishness.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
"This is foolishness," Reid said after the vote of the continued obstinacy.Republicans Filibuster Hagel Nomination
February 14, 2013
Washington lectures London on the foolishness of debating process instead of getting to grips with real problems?An Ever-Closer Union
January 10, 2013
Outside of those examples, though, the idea that anyone is losing freedoms in this country is foolishness.Behind Court Challenge to Health Care Lies the Right’s ‘Freedom Fetish’
March 27, 2012
Neo-soul singer Jill Scott has little time for “foolishness.”Jill Scott’s Soul Searching
June 22, 2011
His long habit of thought concerning her enabled him to master this foolishness.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
We must protect her from the consequences of her own foolishness.Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus
Jessie Graham Flower
It just came over me, all at once, that I—It was just foolishness.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
I didn't enter him; that was somebody else's foolishness, and I don't want to back him.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
"Don't ye be lettin' yourself belave your own foolishness," she said.Her Father's Daughter
- unwise; silly
- resulting from folly or stupidity
- ridiculous or absurd; not worthy of consideration
- weak-minded; simple
- an archaic word for insignificant
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for foolishness
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with foolishness
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.