a grossly foolish or stupid person; a silly fool.


being or characteristic of a tomfool.

Origin of tomfool

1325–75; Middle English Thome fole Tom the fool
Related formstom·fool·ish, adjectivetom·fool·ish·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tomfool

Historical Examples of tomfool

  • That tomfool letter we sent ruined whatever chance I had left.

  • Then aloud in Spanish: "What's the good of all that tomfool business?"

    Lone Pine

    R. B. (Richard Baxter) Townshend

  • Go and fetch the money and the tomfool paint-box thing that you say he had it in.


    Mrs. Molesworth

  • And think of that tomfool of a Tommy-Bill-beg sending the man to me.

  • "I'll stop all night in your tomfool wood and up your tomfool trees," he said.

    The Trees of Pride

    G.K. Chesterton

British Dictionary definitions for tomfool



  1. a fool
  2. (as modifier)tomfool ideas
Derived Formstomfoolish, adjectivetomfoolishness, noun

Word Origin for tomfool

C14: from tom 1 + fool 1
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 tomfool

"buffoon, clown," 1640s, from Middle English Thom Foole, personification of a mentally deficient man (mid-14c.), see Tom + fool (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper