adjective, sil·li·er, sil·li·est.

noun, plural sil·lies.

Informal. a silly or foolish person: Don't be such a silly.

Nearby words

  1. sillimanite,
  2. silliness,
  3. sillitoe,
  4. sills,
  5. sills, beverly,
  6. silly billy,
  7. silly putty,
  8. silly season,
  9. silly-sider,
  10. sillyweed

Origin of silly

1375–1425; earlier sylie, sillie foolish, feeble-minded, simple, pitiful; late Middle English syly, variant of sely seely

1. witless, senseless, dull-witted, dim-witted. See foolish. 2. inane, asinine, nonsensical, preposterous.

Related formssil·li·ly, adverbsil·li·ness, nounun·sil·ly, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for silliness

British Dictionary definitions for silliness


adjective -lier or -liest

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
Derived Formssilliness, noun

Word Origin for silly

C15 (in the sense: pitiable, hence the later senses: foolish): from Old English sǣlig (unattested) happy, from sǣl happiness; related to Gothic sēls good

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 silliness
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper