fool


fool
{{11}}fool (n.) late 13c., "silly or stupid person," from O.Fr. fol "madman, insane person; idiot; rogue; jester," also "blacksmith's bellows," also an adj. meaning "mad, insane" (12c., Mod.Fr. fou), from L. follis "bellows, leather bag" (see FOLLICLE (Cf. follicle)); in V.L. used with a sense of "windbag, empty-headed person." Cf. also Skt. vatula- "insane," lit. "windy, inflated with wind."
The word has in mod.Eng. a much stronger sense than it had at an earlier period; it has now an implication of insulting contempt which does not in the same degree belong to any of its synonyms, or to the derivative foolish. [OED]
Meaning "jester, court clown" first attested late 14c., though it is not always possible to tell whether the reference is to a professional entertainer or an amusing lunatic on the payroll. As the name of a kind of custard dish, it is attested from 1590s (the food also was called trifle, which may be the source of the name). As an adjective, fool "foolish, silly" is considered modern U.S. colloquial, but it is attested from early 13c. Feast of Fools (early 14c.), from M.L. festum stultorum) refers to the burlesque festival celebrated in some churches on New Year's Day in medieval times. Fool's gold "iron pyrite" is from 1829. Fool's paradise "state of illusory happiness" is from mid-15c. Foolosopher, a most useful insult, turns up in a 1549 translation of Erasmus. Fool's ballocks is described in OED as "an old name" for the green-winged orchid.
There is no foole to the olde foole [Heywood, 1546]
{{12}}fool (v.) mid-14c., "to be foolish, act the fool," from FOOL (Cf. fool) (n.). The meaning "to make a fool of" is recorded from 1590s. Also as a verb 16c.-17c. was foolify. Related: Fooled; fooling. Fool around is 1875 in the sense of "pass time idly," 1970s in sense of "have sexual adventures."

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Fool — Fool, n. [OE. fol, n. & adj., F. fol, fou, foolish, mad; a fool, prob. fr. L. follis a bellows, wind bag, an inflated ball; perh. akin to E. bellows. Cf. {Folly}, {Follicle}.] 1. One destitute of reason, or of the common powers of understanding;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fool — Ⅰ. fool [1] ► NOUN 1) a person who acts unwisely. 2) historical a jester or clown. ► VERB 1) trick or deceive. 2) (fool about/around) act in a joking or frivolous way. 3) …   English terms dictionary

  • fool — fool1 [fo͞ol] n. [ME fol < OFr (Fr fou) < LL follis < L, windbag, bellows: see FOLLICLE] 1. a) a person with little or no judgment, common sense, wisdom, etc.; silly or stupid person; simpleton b) Obs. a mentally retarded person 2. a man …   English World dictionary

  • Fool — steht für: Fool (Süßspeise) April Fool, ein Segelboot The Fool, eine Designergruppe Fool (Roman), Roman von Christopher Moore FOOL steht für: Flughafen Libreville Leon M ba in Gabun (ICAO Code) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fool — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Fool Single por Shakira Lanzado 2003 Grabado 2001 Género Rock Duración …   Wikipedia Español

  • Fool — Fool, v. t. 1. To infatuate; to make foolish. Shak. [1913 Webster] For, fooled with hope, men favor the deceit. Dryden. [1913 Webster] 2. To use as a fool; to deceive in a shameful or mortifying manner; to impose upon; to cheat by inspiring… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fool — fool, idiot, imbecile, moron, simpleton, natural are often used popularly and interchangeably of one regarded as lacking sense or good judgment but each can be more precisely applied to someone mentally deficient in a given degree. Fool, the most …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Fool — Fool, n. [Cf. F. fouler to tread, crush. Cf. 1st {Foil}.] A compound of gooseberries scalded and crushed, with cream; commonly called gooseberry fool. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fool — Fool, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Fooled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Fooling}.] To play the fool; to trifle; to toy; to spend time in idle sport or mirth. [1913 Webster] Is this a time for fooling? Dryden. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fool — [n] stupid or ridiculous person ass, birdbrain*, blockhead*, bonehead*, boob*, bore, buffoon, clod*, clown, cretin*, dimwit*, dolt*, dope*, dumb ox*, dunce, dunderhead*, easy mark*, fair game*, fathead*, goose*, halfwit, idiot, ignoramus,… …   New thesaurus

  • fool — index bilk, deceive, defraud, delude, dupe, ensnare, entrap, evade (deceive), illude …   Law dictionary


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