View synonyms for foolish


[ foo-lish ]


  1. resulting from or showing a lack of sense; ill-considered: unwise:

    a foolish action;

    a foolish speech.

    Synonyms: thoughtless, imprudent, preposterous, nonsensical, absurd, ridiculous, unintelligent, senseless, brainless, witless, stupid

  2. lacking forethought or caution.

    Synonyms: incautious, heedless, half-baked, foolhardy, reckless, rash, impetuous, thoughtless, imprudent

  3. trifling, insignificant, or paltry.

    Synonyms: picayune, trivial


/ ˈfuːlɪʃ /


  1. unwise; silly
  2. resulting from folly or stupidity
  3. ridiculous or absurd; not worthy of consideration
  4. weak-minded; simple
  5. an archaic word for insignificant

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • ˈfoolishly, adverb
  • ˈfoolishness, noun

Discover More

Other Words From

  • fool·ish·ly adverb
  • fool·ish·ness noun
  • o·ver·fool·ish adjective
  • o·ver·fool·ish·ly adverb
  • qua·si-fool·ish adjective
  • qua·si-fool·ish·ly adverb
  • un·fool·ish adjective
  • un·fool·ish·ly adverb

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of foolish1

First recorded in 1250–1300; from Middle English folish, foolish; fool 1, -ish 1

Discover More

Idioms and Phrases

see penny wise and pound foolish .

Discover More

Example Sentences

Not only that, but a lot of their male family members — brothers, brothers-in-law, and fathers — had volunteered unsolicited opinions about how foolish they had been.

From Vox

When Christians believe and propagate foolish things like QAnon, they make it even harder for others to listen.

I think the coronavirus response, which has been incompetent and foolish, has probably also contributed to their grievances.

From Ozy

In Lukashenko’s Belarus, independent political leaders are seen as brave yet reckless, even foolish, for voluntarily jumping into the spotlight and risking his wrath.

From Ozy

By the end of the 1500s, silly was used for “lacking good sense, foolish, irrational, ridiculous.”

Sweden explores new frontiers in our misguided, foolish, pointless obsession with rating and censoring entertainment.

One strip, Foolish Grandpa and Sour Henry, shows Grandpa being hit on the head by a sandbag and blown up by dynamite.

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.

The only thing these “tests” reveal is a window into the foolish psyche of whomever applies them.

Bradlee felt deceived by his friends but, “with both of them gone from my life, resentment seemed foolish.”

It's an idle question, I know; wise men and musty philosophers say that regrets are foolish.

For others life is but a foolish leisure with mock activities and mimic avocations to mask its uselessness.

More foolish, more culpable weakness was never shown than in thus yielding to these schemes.

They that sit on mount Seir, and the Philistines, and the foolish people that dwell in Sichem.

Feeling sixteen and very foolish, she sank to the edge of a chair and muttered something about the charm of the room.


Discover More

When To Use

What are other ways to say foolish?

A foolish action is one that shows a lack of sense or is ill-considered. How is foolish different from fatuous, silly, inane, stupid, and asinine? Find out on

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




fool henfoolishness