bêtise

[ be-teez ]
/ bɛˈtiz /

noun

lack of understanding, perception, or the like; stupidity.
a stupid or foolish act or remark.
something inconsequential or without merit; absurdity; trifle.

QUIZZES

DISCOVER THE INFLUENCE OF PORTUGUESE ON ENGLISH VIA THIS QUIZ!

We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?

Origin of bêtise

1820–30; <French: literally, foolishness, equivalent to bête foolish (see beast) + -ise-ice
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for bêtise

  • We should get no clothes fit to wear next week if we committed such a betise.

    Airy Fairy Lilian|Margaret Wolfe Hamilton (AKA Duchess)
  • Frankly—I would put it at such moments—he becomes at last an optical bore or betise.

    Italian Hours|Henry James

British Dictionary definitions for bêtise

bêtise
/ (bɛˈtiːz) /

noun

rare folly or lack of perception

Word Origin for bêtise

French, from bête foolish, from bête (n) stupid person, beast
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