See also: Fool

English

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Etymology

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From Middle English fole (fool), from Old French fol (cf. modern French fou (mad)) from Latin follis.[1] Doublet of follis.

This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term. Cooking sense needs explanation.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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fool (plural fools)

  1. (derogatory) A person with poor judgment or little intelligence.
    You were a fool to cross that busy road without looking.
    The village fool threw his own shoes down the well.
    • a. 1569 (date written), Roger Ascham, edited by Margaret Ascham, The Scholemaster: Or Plaine and Perfite Way of Teaching Children, to Vnderstand, Write, and Speake, the Latin Tong, [], London: [] John Daye, [], published 1570, →OCLC:
      Erasmus, [...] saide wiselie that experience is the common scholehouse of foles, and ill men: Men of witte and honestie, be otherwise instructed.
    • 1748, [Samuel Richardson], “Letter LII”, in Clarissa. Or, The History of a Young Lady: [], volume IV, London: [] S[amuel] Richardson;  [], →OCLC:
      No man is always a fool, every man is sometimes.
    • 1841 February–November, Charles Dickens, “Barnaby Rudge”, in Master Humphrey’s Clock, volume III, London: Chapman & Hall, [], →OCLC, chapter 13:
      'If I coloured at all, Mr Edward,' said Joe, 'which I didn't know I did, it was to think I should have been such a fool as ever to have any hope of her. She’s as far out of my reach as—as Heaven is.'
    • 1895, Rudyard Kipling, If—:
      If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
      ⁠Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools
    • 2001, Starsailor (lyrics and music), “Poor Misguided Fool”:
      You're just a poor misguided fool
      Who thinks they know what I should do
      A line for me and a line for you
      I lose my right to a point of view.
    • 2008, Adele, Crazy for You:
      And every time I'm meant to be acting sensible
      You drift into my head
      And turn me into a crumbling fool.
    • 2017 April 13, Mitchy Collins, Samantha Derosa, Christian Medice, “Broken”, in Finding It Hard to Smile[1], performed by Lovelytheband:
      I like that you're broken
      Broken like me
      Maybe that makes me a fool
  2. (historical) A jester; a person whose role was to entertain a sovereign and the court (or lower personages).
    • 1896, Frederick Peterson IN Popular Science Monthly Volume 50 December 1896 , Idiots Savants
      This court fool could say bright things on occasion, but his main use to the ladies and lords of the palace was to serve as victim to practical jokes, cruel, coarse, and vulgar enough to be appreciated perhaps in the Bowery.
  3. (literature) A stock character typified by unintelligence, naïveté or lucklessness, usually as a form of comic relief; often used as a source of insight or pathos for the audience, as such characters are generally less bound by social expectations.
  4. Someone who has been made a fool of or tricked; dupe.
  5. (informal) Someone who derives pleasure from something specified.
  6. (slang, chiefly African-American Vernacular, Hispanic) An informal greeting akin to buddy, dude, or man.
    • 2010, G.C. Deuce, From the Gutter to the Grave: An American Hood Novel, Xlibris Corporation, →ISBN, page 291:
      Upon opening the door, Trech was suddenly drawn aback by the shocking presence of the armed goon standing directly in front of him. “Yo, what up fool? []
    • 2012, Peron Long, Livin' Ain't Easy, Urban Books, →ISBN:
      “What up, fool?” he finally responded. “Not too much; fell asleep watching your boys get their asses kicked,” I told him, referring to the Carolina Cougars, the last team he played for before he got sick.
    • 2014, Hitta Lo, Bracing Season I, Kaleidoscopic Publishing, →ISBN:
      Fame leaves out the house and walks to the BP gas station on Alabama Avenue. On the way there he sees his man Mark posted up at the rec center and walks over to holla at him. “What’s up fool?” Mark says while dapping Fame up.
    • 2018, Keith L. Bell, Drought Season Over: The Sequel, Xlibris Corporation, →ISBN:
      “What up fool?” Lil Slim said noticing the seriousness in Lil Kilo’s voice. “You ain’t switched up on us have you.” Lil Fresh looked at Lil Kilo like where that come from. “Nigga I’ll neva switch up.” Lil Slim said feeling a little offended.
  7. (cooking) A type of dessert made of puréed fruit and custard or cream.
    Coordinate term: mess
    an apricot fool; a gooseberry fool
    • 1913, Pearson's Magazine, volume 36, part 2, page 373:
      Eton is renowned for its "messes," and "strawberry mess" is Empress of them all, with raspberry mess as a very good second. It does not at all convey the joys of a "mess" to say that it consists of iced fruit and cream, and somewhat resembles a "fool." It is a thing apart, and should be approached with bated breath and unimpaired capacity.
    • 2014, Lindsey Bareham, Just One Pot:
      Pellaprat [...] invented the dish [of Eton mess] when a load of over-ripe strawberries needed eating up. His disguise was a fluff of whipped cream and the fool was served with sponge fingers. Somewhere along the line, someone else had the idea of stirring chunks of meringue into the fool at the last moment.
  8. (tarot, often capitalized Fool) A particular card in a tarot deck, representing a jester.

Synonyms

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Derived terms

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Translations

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Verb

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fool (third-person singular simple present fools, present participle fooling, simple past and past participle fooled)

  1. To trick; to deceive.
    • 1918, Florence White Williams, The Little Red Hen:
      She bit it gently and found that it resembled a worm in no way whatsoever as to taste although because it was long and slender, a Little Red Hen might easily be fooled by its appearance.
    • 1986 June 6, Richard Feynman, “Personal observations on the reliability of the Shuttle”, in Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident, Report to the President:
      There appears to be no process of gradually fooling oneself while degrading standards so characteristic of the Solid Rocket Booster or Space Shuttle Main Engine safety systems.
    • 2008, BioWare, Mass Effect (Science Fiction), Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →ISBN, →OCLC, PC, scene: Noveria:
      Liara: Do not be fooled by these civilized surroundings. This is a place of secrets and lies.
  2. To act in an idiotic manner; to act foolishly.
    • 1681/1682, John Dryden, The Spanish Fryar
      Is this a time for fooling?
    • 1972, Judy Blume, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, page 56:
      She's always complaining that she got stuck with the worst possible committee. And that me and Jimmy fool more than we work.
  3. (archaic) To make a fool of; to make act the fool.

Synonyms

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Derived terms

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Terms derived from the verb fool

Translations

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Adjective

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fool (comparative fooler or more fool, superlative foolest or most fool)

  1. (informal) Foolish.
    • 1909, Gene Stratton-Porter, A Girl of the Limberlost:
      Of all the fool, fruitless jobs, making anything of a creature that begins by deceiving her, is the foolest a sane woman ever undertook.
    • 2011, Gayle Kaye, Sheriff Takes a Bride:
      That was a fool thing to do. You could have gotten yourself shot

Derived terms

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References

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  1. ^ fool in: T. F. Hoad, Concise Dictionary of English Etymology, Oxford University Press, 2003, →ISBN

Anagrams

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Middle English

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Etymology 1

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Noun

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fool

  1. Alternative form of fole (fool)

Adjective

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fool

  1. Alternative form of fole (foolish)

Etymology 2

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Noun

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fool

  1. Alternative form of fole (foal)

Rohingya

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Etymology

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From Sanskrit पागल (pāgala).

Noun

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fool

  1. mad man