Nearby words

  1. foodaholic,
  2. foodie,
  3. foodstuff,
  4. foofaraw,
  5. foofoo,
  6. fool and his money are soon parted, a,
  7. fool around,
  8. fool away,
  9. fool hen,
  10. fool's cap


    be nobody's fool, to be wise or shrewd.

Origin of fool

1225–75; Middle English fol, fool < Old French fol < Latin follis bellows, bag; cf. follis

Related formsun·fooled, adjectiveun·fool·ing, adjectivewell-fooled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for fool around


/ (fuːl) /




informal short for foolish

Word Origin for fool

C13: from Old French fol mad person, from Late Latin follis empty-headed fellow, from Latin: bellows; related to Latin flāre to blow


/ (fuːl) /


mainly British a dessert made from a purée of fruit with cream or custardgooseberry fool

Word Origin for fool

C16: perhaps from fool 1

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 fool around
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with fool around

fool around


Also, monkey around. Engage in idle or casual activity, putter. For example, Jim loved to fool around with his computer, or She was monkeying around with some figures in hopes of balancing the budget. [Second half of 1800s]


Engage in frivolous activity, waste time. For example, Instead of studying, he spends all his spare time fooling around. Also see fool away.


Engage in flirting or casual sexual acts; also, engage in adultery. For example, He caught the two teenagers fooling around in the basement. [1830s]


In addition to the idioms beginning with fool

  • fool and his money are soon parted, a
  • fool around
  • fool away
  • fools rush in where angels fear to tread

also see:

  • make a fool of
  • nobody's fool
  • no fool like an old fool
  • not suffer fools gladly
  • play the fool
  • take for (a fool)

Also see underfoolish.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.