fool

Definitions

  • "Fool." Neapolitan
    "Fool." Neapolitan
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v fool indulge in horseplay "Enough horsing around--let's get back to work!","The bored children were fooling about"
    • v fool fool or hoax "The immigrant was duped because he trusted everyone","You can't fool me!"
    • v fool spend frivolously and unwisely "Fritter away one's inheritance"
    • v fool make a fool or dupe of
    • n fool a person who is gullible and easy to take advantage of
    • n fool a person who lacks good judgment
    • n fool a professional clown employed to entertain a king or nobleman in the Middle Ages
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Additional illustrations & photos:

"'THERE ISN'T A REDDER FOOL THAN ME IN BOTH ATLANTICS.'" "'THERE ISN'T A REDDER FOOL THAN ME IN BOTH ATLANTICS.'"
"Be a fool if you want to." "Be a fool if you want to."
THE RICH FOOL THE RICH FOOL
SEE 'ER GO! SEE 'ER GO! THE CRAZY OLD FOOL, SEE 'ER GO SEE 'ER GO! SEE 'ER GO! THE CRAZY OLD FOOL, SEE 'ER GO

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The iron disulfide (Pyrite) is considered "fool's gold" because it looks very similar to gold.
    • n Fool A compound of gooseberries scalded and crushed, with cream; -- commonly called gooseberry fool.
    • Fool A person deficient in intellect; one who acts absurdly, or pursues a course contrary to the dictates of wisdom; one without judgment; a simpleton; a dolt. "Extol not riches, then, the toil of fools .""Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other ."
    • Fool One destitute of reason, or of the common powers of understanding; an idiot; a natural.
    • Fool (Script) One who acts contrary to moral and religious wisdom; a wicked person. "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God."
    • Fool One who counterfeits folly; a professional jester or buffoon; a retainer formerly kept to make sport, dressed fantastically in motley, with ridiculous accouterments. "Can they think me . . . their fool or jester?"
    • Fool To infatuate; to make foolish. "For, fooled with hope, men favor the deceit."
    • v. i Fool To play the fool; to trifle; to toy; to spend time in idle sport or mirth. "Is this a time for fooling ?"
    • Fool To use as a fool; to deceive in a shameful or mortifying manner; to impose upon; to cheat by inspiring foolish confidence; as, to fool one out of his money. "You are fooled , discarded, and shook off
      By him for whom these shames ye underwent."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n fool One who is deficient in intellect; a weak-minded or idiotic person.
    • n fool One who is deficient in judgment or sense; a silly or stupid person; one who manifests either habitual or occasional lack of discernment or common sense: chiefly used as a term of disparagement, contempt, or self-depreciation.
    • n fool One who counterfeits mental weakness or folly; a professional jester or buffoon; a retainer dressed in motley, with a pointed cap and bells on his head, and a mock scepter or bauble in his hand, formerly kept by persons of rank for the purpose of making sport. See bauble.
    • n fool Figuratively, a tool, toy, sport, butt, or victim: as, to be the fool of circumstances.
    • n fool A wanton, bad, or wicked person.
    • n fool A conical paper cap which dunces at school are sometimes compelled to wear by way of punishment.
    • n fool To act like one void of understanding.
    • n fool Synonyms and Simpleton, ninny, dolt, witling, blockhead. driveler.
    • n fool Harlequin, clown, jester. See zany.
    • fool Foolish; silly.
    • fool To play the fool; act like a weak-minded or foolish person; potter aimlessly or mischievously; toy; trifle.
    • fool To play the buffoon; act as a fool or jester.
    • fool To make a fool of; expose to contempt; disappoint; deceive; impose on.
    • fool To make foolish; infatuate.
    • fool To beguile; cheat: as, to fool one out of his money.
    • n fool A light paste of flour and water, like pie-crust.
    • n fool A sort of custard; a dish made of fruit crushed and scalded or stewed and mixed with whipped cream and sugar: as, gooseberry fool.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Fool fōōl one who acts stupidly: a person of weak mind: a jester: a tool or victim, as of untoward circumstances:
    • v.t Fool to deceive: to treat with contempt
    • v.i Fool to play the fool: to trifle
    • n Fool fōōl crushed fruit scalded or stewed, mixed with cream and sugar, as 'gooseberry fool.'
    • n Fool fōōl (B.) a wicked person
    • ***

Quotations

  • Edward Young
    Edward%20Young
    “Be wise with speed; a fool at forty is a fool indeed.”
  • Spanish Proverb
    Spanish Proverb
    “A wise man changes his mind, a fool never will.”
  • Doris Lessing
    Doris%20Lessing
    “In university they don't tell you that the greater part of the law is learning to tolerate fools.”
  • George Santayana
    George%20Santayana
    “The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool.”
  • Baltasar Gracian
    Baltasar%20Gracian
    “A wise man learns more from his enemies than a fool from his friends.”
  • Hesiod
    Hesiod
    “The fool knows after he's suffered.”

Idioms

A fool and his money are soon parted - This idiom means that people who aren't careful with their money spend it quickly. 'A fool and his money are easily parted' is an alternative form of the idiom.
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A fool at 40 is a fool forever - If someone hasn't matured by the time they reach forty, they never will.
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Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me - This means that you should learn from your mistakes and not allow people to take advantage of you repeatedly.
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Fool's paradise - A fool's paradise is a false sense of happiness or success.
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Fools rush in where angels fear to tread - This idiom is used where people who are inexperienced or lack knowledge do something that more informed people would avoid.
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Play the fool - If someone plays the fool, they behave in a silly way to make people laugh. ('Act the fool' is and alternative form.)
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. fol (Fr. fou), It. folle—L. follis, a wind-bag.

Usage

In literature:

You can set the letters up and I can't tell them, but you can't fool me with the figgers, 'less they are mighty big numbers.
"Slave Narratives, Oklahoma" by Various
Any chap can fool about.
"The Willoughby Captains" by Talbot Baines Reed
Bad enough for you to fool me with that whistle without pulling a gun.
"Blacksheep! Blacksheep!" by Meredith Nicholson
Sometimes we have a little disagreement over the table, just to fool the fools all the more.
"Frank Merriwell's Races" by Burt L. Standish
At a word from this mysterious woman, he would have started out on any fool's errand, to any fool's land.
"The Lure of the Mask" by Harold MacGrath
If people do not fool themselves nobody else can fool them.
"The Ghost in the White House" by Gerald Stanley Lee
Do you think because you have been a fool in one way that you have a right to be a fool in another?
"Despair's Last Journey" by David Christie Murray
I gave the young fool a good tip to save the remnants, but he wouldn't take it.
"Joan of Arc of the North Woods" by Holman Day
Why you don't know, you fool, what good we've done.
"The Comedies of Terence" by Publius Terentius Afer
I've made a fool of myself, and that kind of a fool doesn't deserve sympathy.
"Fair Harbor" by Joseph Crosby Lincoln
I'm the fool man who's been handed a fool's luck.
"The Heart of Unaga" by Ridgwell Cullum
The art of fooling lies in trumped-up earnestness.
"Under the Rose" by Frederic Stewart Isham
And I've acted like a fool.
"The Root of Evil" by Thomas Dixon
Tattle, for instance, is so gross a fool, that any fool in the pit could see his folly; Witwoud might deceive all but the elect.
"The Comedies of William Congreve Volume 1 [of 2]" by William Congreve
Dat de way you fool my ole gran'daddy; but you can't fool we-all.
"Nights With Uncle Remus" by Joel Chandler Harris
So have a lot of other fools, I suppose.
"Blow The Man Down" by Holman Day
He thinks I'm an awful fool because I won't do the same.
"Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1909 to 1922" by Lucy Maud Montgomery
I didn't want her any more than you did, and we were fools to have her.
"The Cricket" by Marjorie Cooke
I may be a fool but I'm not a damn fool, as James used to say.
"Black Oxen" by Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton
Why do you think, you young fool?
"The Spoilers of the Valley" by Robert Watson
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In poetry:

This great purple butterfly,
In the prison of my hands,
Has a learning in his eye
Not a poor fool understands.
"Another Song Of A Fool" by William Butler Yeats
Betzko, his Jester, pleased him so
He vowed it his the task
To do whatever in human power
His witty Fool might ask.
"Betzko" by Hanford Lennox Gordon
Make of life the jest it is,
Laugh and fool and (maybe!) kiss,
Never for a moment, dear,
Love so well to risk a fear.
"Come, My Celia" by Richard Le Gallienne
Let fools an heav'n of shades pursue,
But I for substance am:
The heav'n I seek is likeness to,
And vision of the Lamb:
"The Believer's Principles : Chap. V." by Ralph Erskine
And talked of how to burn good pay
And play the blooming fool
Among the wenches and the sharks
In the port of Liverpool.
"The Ballad Of The Dinkinbar" by Cicely Fox Smith
"Oh, fool I am. Oh, rebel worm!
If, when immortal, I was slain,
For daring to impugn his reign,
How shall I, thus infirm?
"Mount Arafa" by Richard Doddridge Blackmore

In news:

Byron Scott doesn't suffer fools gladly , especially when the Cleveland Cavaliers play poorly: Bud Shaw's Sports Spin.
Saving Fools Gladly Air Force parajumpers in Alaska often come to the rescue of weekend warriors.
FOOLS OF FORTUNE By William Trevor.
Glittering like fool's gold.
From Time's Fool by Glyn Maxwell.
Scientific research depends on trust, so it should come as no surprise that Korean biologist Hwang Woo Suk was able to fool colleagues into believing that he had cloned stem cells from 11 different patients.
Any fool with a microphone can tell you what he loves the most.
Don't let the record fool you.
Esther's Pool, that is: Winning fools, grooving stars.
This fake email about Apple fooled numerous online readers, including some reporters.
Conrad Black loses his cool with TV host: 'You are a gullible fool.
Satires fool journalists from Iran to Krugmanistan.
And no, this is not April Fools' Day.
Editor's Note: This story is an "April Fool's" joke and is completely fictional.
Former President Warns Voters 'Don't Be Fooled'.
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In science:

It has been proved recently that δ ′ -biased distributions for small enough δ ′ can be used to δ -fool the class of read-once DNFs w.r.t. the uniform distribution.
Streaming algorithms for recognizing nearly well-parenthesized expressions
This tells us that we only need to fool read-once DNFs and linear tests w.r.t. the uniform distribution to fool fw -tests w.r.t. the uniform distribution.
Streaming algorithms for recognizing nearly well-parenthesized expressions
We will generate z ′ ∈ D ′ as follows: z ′1 will be sampled from an explicit δ1 -biased space D ′1 and z ′2 will be independently sampled from an explicit space D ′2 that δ2 -fools read once DNFs.
Streaming algorithms for recognizing nearly well-parenthesized expressions
Using D ′ , we can define a distribution D that fools linear tests w.r.t. D1/4k as follows: to pick z ∼ D , we pick z ′ ∼ D ′ and output z defined by zi = ∧t j=1 z ′ij for each i.
Streaming algorithms for recognizing nearly well-parenthesized expressions
Without having correct (theoretical) stratage of coping the data, we will be easily fooled.
Is Cabibbo-Kobayasi-Maskawa Matrix Unitary?
Maybe I’m fooled by the astrophysics, as Cen & Ostriker (2000) argue.
Concluding Remarks on New Cosmological Data and the Values of the Fundamental Parameters
Abundances derived from color-magnitude diagrams can be dramatically fooled by the agemetallicity relationship, as seen in the Sgr dSph.
Detailed Composition of Starts in Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxies
Even though he didn’t mean it, this made you feel like a fool” .
Enrico Fermi's view of identical particles
Using Gowers norms, Bogdanov and Viola [BV07] gave a pseudorandom generator fooling lowdegree polynomials over F2 .
Optimal Testing of Reed-Muller Codes
The sum of D small-bias generators fools polynomials of degree D .
Optimal Testing of Reed-Muller Codes
To show the necessity of randomness, we use the well-known fooling set method from communication complexity .
Data Stream Algorithms for Codeword Testing
The proof uses he standard fooling set technique, however, unlike the usual application of twoparty communication complexity in data stream algorithms, where the stream is broken up into two fixed portions, in our case we need to be careful about how we divide up the input.
Data Stream Algorithms for Codeword Testing
However, we can show that for every asymptotically good code, there is some way of breaking up the input into two parts such that there exists an exponentially sized fooling set.
Data Stream Algorithms for Codeword Testing
Lemma 12. fC has a fooling set of size at least q δRn/6 .
Data Stream Algorithms for Codeword Testing
Thus we need to exhibit a fooling set of size at least qβk .
Data Stream Algorithms for Codeword Testing
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