English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English bifolen, equivalent to be- +‎ fool.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /bɪˈfuːl/
    • (file)

Verb edit

befool (third-person singular simple present befools, present participle befooling, simple past and past participle befooled)

  1. (transitive, archaic) To make a fool out of (someone); to fool, trick, or deceive (someone).
    • 1605, Joseph Hall, Meditations and Vowes, Diuine and Morall[1], London: John Porter, section 63:
      Nothing doth so befoole a man as extreme passion; this doth both make them fooles, which otherwise are not; and show them to be fooles that are so []
    • 1637 July, Robert Sanderson, “[Ad Aulam.] Sermon VI. Otelands, July 1637.”, in XXXIV Sermons. [], 5th edition, London: [] [A. Clark] for A. Seil, and are to be sold by G. Sawbridge, [], published 1671, →OCLC, paragraph 10, page 81:
      [T]hey ſettle upon their ovvn dregs, and grovv muddy and muſty vvith long eaſe, and their proſperity befooleth them to their ovvn deſtruction.
    • 1854, Arthur Pendennis [pseudonym; William Makepeace Thackeray], chapter XL, in The Newcomes: Memoirs of a Most Respectable Family, volumes (please specify |volume=I or II), London: Bradbury and Evans, [], →OCLC:
      Flattery is their nature—to coax, flatter and sweetly befool some one is every woman’s business.
    • 1886 October – 1887 January, H[enry] Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., published 1887, →OCLC:
      "How can a woman live two thousand years? Why dost thou befool me, oh Queen?"
    • 1901, Andrew Lang, “The Fairy of the Dawn”, in The Violet Fairy Book[2]:
      But above all beware never to look the Fairy of the Dawn in the face, for she has eyes that will bewitch you, and glances that will befool you.
    • 2009 July 13, “BJP workers stage protest after leader dies in hospital”, in Times of India, retrieved 29 May 2013:
      They alleged Dr Sidhu had no specialization in reducing weight and was only befooling innocent people.

Usage notes edit

  • Although archaic in Western countries, this verb is still current in the English of South Asia.

Translations edit