- 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 for foolish 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 foolish
Sweden explores new frontiers in our misguided, foolish, pointless obsession with rating and censoring entertainment.The Insane Swedish Plan to Rate Games for Sexism
November 20, 2014
One strip, Foolish Grandpa and Sour Henry, shows Grandpa being hit on the head by a sandbag and blown up by dynamite.The Magazine That Made—and Unmade—Politicians
November 2, 2014
McConnell did what he did in 2005, and he was foolish enough to boast about it in public less than two weeks before an election.Hooray for Liberal Fear-Mongering!
October 28, 2014
The only thing these “tests” reveal is a window into the foolish psyche of whomever applies them.Ex-NFL Linebacker: We Talk Around Race, Not About It
October 23, 2014
How foolish to ask what is the best education for one or seven or sixty million souls!College Must Be More Than Just a Classy Trade School
Michael S. Roth
August 30, 2014
Your brother was foolish enough to leave his boat in Rushton's care.Brave and Bold
Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.
Jeff cleared his throat and looked about with foolish importance.Way of the Lawless
But God must be able to let them know what foolish creatures they are, majie!Weighed and Wanting
Above all, shun the snares of women, for they are ever set for the foolish feet of the young.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
- unwise; silly
- resulting from folly or stupidity
- ridiculous or absurd; not worthy of consideration
- weak-minded; simple
- an archaic word for insignificant
Word Origin and History for foolish
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with foolish
see penny wise and pound foolish.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.