- weak-minded or lacking good sense; stupid or foolish: a silly writer.
- absurd; ridiculous; irrational: a silly idea.
- stunned; dazed: He knocked me silly.
- Cricket. (of a fielder or the fielder's playing position) extremely close to the batsman's wicket: silly mid off.
- Archaic. rustic; plain; homely.
- Archaic. weak; helpless.
- Obsolete. lowly in rank or state; humble.
- Informal. a silly or foolish person: Don't be such a silly.
Origin of silly
SynonymsSee more synonyms for silly on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for sillier
In any case, this whole thing is just looking sillier and sillier.More Details on IRS Approvals
June 12, 2013
Yet 2012 has shaped up as one of the sillier and sleazier campaigns in recent times.Good Candidates, Bad Election
August 8, 2012
Boehner may have an envy problem, and, if so, it is making him sillier and sweatier by the week.The GOP's Oompa-Loompa
September 2, 2010
"But it must be sillier than usual," said Harriet, and her voice began to quaver.Where Angels Fear to Tread
E. M. Forster
And did you ever come across a sillier tribe of people than these same rhapsodists?The Symposium
"The bigger a man is the sillier he is," she said, still laughing.The Jucklins
The guests were disgusted with the silly child, and sillier mother.Princess Polly At Play
Really, I some times think that the older people get the sillier they are.Wood Magic
- lacking in good sense; absurd
- frivolous, trivial, or superficial
- dazed, as from a blow
- obsolete homely or humble
- (modifier) cricket (of a fielding position) near the batsman's wicketsilly mid-on
- Also called: silly-billy plural -lies informal a foolish person
Word Origin and History for sillier
Old English gesælig "happy, fortuitous, prosperous" (related to sæl "happiness"), from Proto-Germanic *sæligas (cf. Old Norse sæll "happy," Old Saxon salig, Middle Dutch salich, Old High German salig, German selig "blessed, happy, blissful," Gothic sels "good, kindhearted"), from PIE *sele- "of good mood; to favor," from root *sel- (2) "happy, of good mood; to favor" (cf. Latin solari "to comfort," Greek hilaros "cheerful, gay, merry, joyous").
This is one of the few instances in which an original long e (ee) has become shortened to i. The same change occurs in breeches, and in the American pronunciation of been, with no change in spelling. [Century Dictionary]
The word's considerable sense development moved from "happy" to "blessed" to "pious," to "innocent" (c.1200), to "harmless," to "pitiable" (late 13c.), "weak" (c.1300), to "feeble in mind, lacking in reason, foolish" (1570s). Further tendency toward "stunned, dazed as by a blow" (1886) in knocked silly, etc. Silly season in journalism slang is from 1861 (August and September, when newspapers compensate for a lack of hard news by filling up with trivial stories). Silly Putty trademark claims use from July 1949.