• WordNet 3.6
    • n folly foolish or senseless behavior
    • n folly a stupid mistake
    • n folly the trait of acting stupidly or rashly
    • n folly the quality of being rash and foolish "trying to drive through a blizzard is the height of folly","adjusting to an insane society is total foolishness"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Folly A foolish act; an inconsiderate or thoughtless procedure; weak or light-minded conduct; foolery. "What folly 'tis to hazard life for ill."
    • Folly Scandalous crime; sin; specifically, as applied to a woman, wantonness. "Achan] wrought folly in Israel.""When lovely woman stoops to folly ."
    • Folly The result of a foolish action or enterprise. "It is called this man's or that man's “ folly ,” and name of the foolish builder is thus kept alive for long after years."
    • Folly The state of being foolish; want of good sense; levity, weakness, or derangement of mind.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n folly The character or conduct of a fool; the state of being foolish; weakness of judgment or character, or actions which spring from it; want of understanding; weak or light-minded conduct.
    • n folly Something regard for or attention to which is foolish.
    • n folly Specifically Conduct morally bad; wickedness; wantonness.
    • n folly A costly structure or other undertaking left unfinished for want of means, too expensive to be properly maintained, built in a very ill-chosen place, or the like; an enterprise that exhausts or ruins the projector.
    • n folly Synonyms Nonsense, foolishness, senselessness, ridiculousness, extravagance, indiscretion, imbecility. See list under absurdity.
    • folly To act with folly; act foolishly.
    • folly Foolish.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Folly fol′i silliness or weakness of mind: a foolish act: criminal weakness:
    • v.i Folly to act with folly
    • n Folly fol′i (B.) sin: a monument of folly, as a great structure left unfinished, having been begun without a reckoning of the cost
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  • Elizabeth Gaskell
    Elizabeth Gaskell
    “Sometimes one likes foolish people for their folly, better than wise people for their wisdom.”
  • Francois De La Rochefoucauld
    “He who lives without folly isn't so wise as he thinks.”
  • Bertrand Russell
    “Folly is perennial, yet the human race has survived.”
  • William Shakespeare
    “He uses his folly like a stalking-horse, and under the presentation of that he shoots his wit.”
  • Lord Alfred Tennyson
    “The folly of all follies is to be love sick for a shadow.”
  • Edward Gibbon
    “History is little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. folie, foli, F. folie, fr. fol, fou, foolish, mad. See Fool
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. foliefol, foolish.


In literature:

The Folly was a floating structure not unlike a large houseboat of the present day.
"Tom Tufton's Travels" by Evelyn Everett-Green
He who loves to laugh at folly is himself a fool.
"Searchlights on Health" by B. G. Jefferis and J. L. Nichols
To act in haste were to act with folly.
"A Heroine of France" by Evelyn Everett-Green
The moral and religious poems of Burns were written in a desire to work off a fit of depression, and make amends for folly.
"Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 5 (of 14)" by Elbert Hubbard
He who boasts of being perfect is perfect in folly.
"Brave Men and Women" by O.E. Fuller
He returned to the storm and glare of the ballet, the last appearance of that small, incarnate genius of Folly.
"The Divine Fire" by May Sinclair
Besides, I should feel that I had offended my good angel did I ask it to help me out of mine own folly.
"The Mississippi Bubble" by Emerson Hough
He had about decided to speak very plainly to him on the folly of such narrowness.
"Gordon Keith" by Thomas Nelson Page
The Folly and Evil of it.
"The Christian Home" by Samuel Philips
But perhaps the most curious passage is that in which he preaches against the sin and folly of ambition.
"The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2)" by John Holland Rose

In poetry:

"But now I know, by trouble's test,
How little my poor strength can bear,
What folly wisdom is, whene'er
The grief is in the breast!
"Mount Arafa" by Richard Doddridge Blackmore
‘Tis here the folly of the wise
Through all his art we view;
And, while his tongue the charge denies,
His conscience owns it true.
"Human Frailty" by William Cowper
Not blind to faults and follies, thou
Hast never failed the good to see,
Nor judged by one unseemly bough
The upward-struggling tree.
"My Thanks," by John Greenleaf Whittier
Come, my Ardelia, to this bowre,
Where kindly mingling Souls a while,
Let's innocently spend an houre,
And at all serious follys smile
"A Retir'd Friendship" by Katherine Philips
What man was this by Fate or Folly driven
To cross the dreadful plain?
A pilgrim poor? or Ishmael unforgiven?
The man was Andy Blane,
"His Mate" by Victor James Daley
All thy follies ever hidden,
All thy virtues raised above,
Thy name, so long, so much forbidden,
Strangers shall learn from me to love.
"To My Valentine" by Nora Pembroke

In news:

Deck the Halls With Macro Follies.
Call it a ' ditch ,' but not a 'folly.
Bernadette Peters and Jan Maxwell head the cast of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' production of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's Follies.
Editor's Viewpoint: Enough is enough , end this folly now.
Error , Folly, and Reversal.
Obama's folly is evident .
Vaudville show ' Fabulous Follies of 2012' deemed a success.
The Fabulous Fifties Follies, of course.
Folly of finer slices to the economic pie.
Bernadette Peters and Jan Maxwell head the cast of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' production of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's Follies .
Deck the Halls With Macro Follies .
Obama's Foreign-Policy Follies It may be the end of the kick-the-can game.
Libya crisis the latest chapter in Obama's foreign policy follies .
Photo courtesy of the Central Coast Follies .
Scenes from the official barge in Kennewick's Columbia Park on the final day of Water Follies 2012 BOB BRAWDY — Tri-City Herald.

In science:

With that, the grasshopper gave a big leap into the air, slightly exasperated by the folly so often displayed by his fellow insects.
Interplay between Network Topology and Dynamics in Neural Systems