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April fool

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noun

the victim of a practical joke or trick on April Fools' Day.
a practical joke or trick played on that day.

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Origin of April fool

First recorded in 1680–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does April fool mean?

The term April fool is used to refer to a prank played on April Fools’ Day, a lighthearted holiday on April 1 that people observe by playing pranks and practical jokes.

April fool can also refer to the person who’s the victim of such a prank (the “fool”).

After playing an April Fools’ Day prank, it’s common for the prankster to say April fool! or April fools!

Where does April fool come from?

The first records of the term April fool come from the 1680s. The first records of April Fools’ Day come from the mid-1700s (it’s first recorded in the form April-Fool Day in 1748).

The ultimate origin of the tradition of April Fools’ Day is uncertain, but April 1 has been observed as a day of pranks in different places in Europe since at least the 1500s. The practice of playing pranks on April 1 may derive from the French custom known as poisson d’avril, which literally means “April fish” and involves pinning a paper fish to a person’s back (classic).

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How is April fool used in real life?

The term April fool is typically only used on April Fools’ Day.

 

 

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True or False?

April fool can refer to an April Fools’ Day prank or the victim of such a prank.

How to use April fool in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for April fool

April fool

noun

an unsuspecting victim of a practical joke or trick traditionally performed on the first of April (April Fools' Day or All Fools' Day)
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
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