[ foo t-l ]
/ ˈfʊt l /

verb (used without object), foot·led, foot·ling.

to act or talk in a foolish or silly way.


nonsense; foolishness; silliness.

Origin of footle

1890–95; origin uncertain; cf. footy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for footle

British Dictionary definitions for footle


/ (ˈfuːtəl) informal /

verb (intr)

(often foll by around or about) to loiter aimlessly; potter
to talk nonsense


rare foolishness

Word Origin for footle

C19: probably from French foutre to copulate with, from Latin futuere
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 footle



"to trifle," 1892, from dialectal footer "to trifle," footy "mean, paltry" (1752), perhaps from French se foutre "to care nothing," from Old French foutre "to copulate with," from Latin futuere, originally "to strike, thrust" (cf. confute). But OED derives the English dialect words from foughty (c.1600), from Dutch vochtig or Danish fugtig "damp, musty;" related to fog (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper