• WordNet 3.6
    • adj foolish having or revealing stupidity "ridiculous anserine behavior","a dopey answer","a dopey kid","some fool idea about rewriting authors' books"
    • adj foolish devoid of good sense or judgment "foolish remarks","a foolish decision"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

What Dum Foolishness You Got on Hand Now 177 What Dum Foolishness You Got on Hand Now 177

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Foolish Absurd; ridiculous; despicable; contemptible. "A foolish figure he must make."
    • Foolish Marked with, or exhibiting, folly; void of understanding; weak in intellect; without judgment or discretion; silly; unwise. "I am a very foolish fond old man."
    • Foolish Such as a fool would do; proceeding from weakness of mind or silliness; exhibiting a want of judgment or discretion; as, a foolish act.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • foolish Like a fool; manifesting folly; deficient in understanding, sense, or discretion; weak in intellect or judgment; unwise.
    • foolish Proceeding from or prompted by folly; exhibiting a want of discretion or discrimination; silly; vain; trifling.
    • foolish Ridiculous; contemptible.
    • foolish Denoting or indicative of folly.
    • foolish Slight; insignificant.
    • foolish Synonyms Silly, Foolish (see absurd); shallow, brainless, harebrained, simple.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Foolish weak in intellect: wanting discretion: ridiculous: marked with folly: deserving ridicule:
    • Foolish (B.) sinful, disregarding God's laws
    • ***


  • Horace
    “Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans. It is lovely to be silly at the right moment.”
  • Seneca
    “A foolishness is inflicted with a hatred of itself.”
  • Alfred Sutro
    Alfred Sutro
    “That's the penalty we have to pay for our acts of foolishness -- someone else always suffers for them.”
  • Mark Twain
    “I was young and foolish then; now I am old and foolisher.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “The foolish and the uneducated have little use for freedom.”
  • Jean De La Fontaine
    “We read on the foreheads of those who are surrounded by a foolish luxury, that fortune sells what she is thought to give.”


Penny wise, pound foolish - Someone who is penny wise, pound foolish can be very careful or mean with small amounts of money, yet wasteful and extravagant with large sums.


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


In literature:

Paul bit his lip, fearing some foolish rashness on the part of his brother.
"Paul Patoff" by F. Marion Crawford
I dare say I am foolish.
"Janet's Love and Service" by Margaret M Robertson
I am a foolish old man, I suppose, a foolish, sentimental old man!
"The Music Master" by Charles Klein
Woe betide the foolish human soul who ignores it, or fails to read it aright.
"The Heart of Unaga" by Ridgwell Cullum
It all appeared to him so exceedingly foolish.
"The History of Sir Richard Calmady" by Lucas Malet
Oh, Jim, don't tell me you were so foolish!
"The Root of Evil" by Thomas Dixon
A village schoolmaster in Germany one day did something at which the parents of one of his pupils foolishly took offence.
"Chatterbox, 1906" by Various
I have lost my schooner by my blasted foolishness.
"Blow The Man Down" by Holman Day
You will be foolish, as well as disloyal, if you ever try to see me again.
"Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1896 to 1901" by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Alan felt his heart beating foolishly.
"Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1907 to 1908" by Lucy Maud Montgomery

In poetry:

Then with an old friend
I talk of our youth!
How 'twas gladsome, but often
Foolish, forsooth:
But gladsome, gladsome!
"The Meadows In Spring" by Edward FitzGerald
Foolish to give it!--'Twas my whim,
When he might parted be,
To think that I should stay by him
In a little piece of me.
"A Girl's Sin - In Her Eyes" by Francis Thompson
Then with an old friend
I talk of our youth—
How ’twas gladsome, but often
Foolish, forsooth:
But gladsome, gladsome!
"Old Song" by Edward FitzGerald
She gives pleasure a reverent touch,
She never tries to know too much
Of foolishness, gab and all such—
She's seen these.
"The Model Girl" by Frank Barbour Coffin
(And down the great dark curtain fell
Upon their foolish play,
But you and I knew–oh, too well!–
Life went another way!)
"At the Comedy" by Arthur John Arbuthnott Stringer
You shall remember quiet ways
Watching them fade, and quiet eyes,
And two hearts given up to love,
A foolish and an overwise.
"With Flowers" by Francis Ledwidge

In news:

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.".
I'm no fan of foolish consistencies.
Shoplifting is crime of the moment for region's foolish thieves.
'Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish '.
Seahawks fans' reaction to disputed call ' foolish '.
Eagles looking foolish after loss to Cardinals.
Time is ripe for a foolish boast.
House Republicans, in a fiercely partisan confrontation with the Justice Department, foolishly cited Mr Holder for contempt in June for resisting some of their demands for documents.
Why conservatives push foolish campaign themes on Mitt Romney.
It'd be foolish to cut Felix Jones now.
Hall's request to columnist was foolish .
In the game of basketball, if something is free, it's foolish not to take advantage of it.
Grover Norquist calls him 'foolish.
Gold standard a foolish fantasy.
That's a foolish thing to say.

In science:

Since we have introduced several layers of approximation in the formulation of the model, and the derivation of its data, it would be foolish to insist on achieving an exact optimum.
Bid Optimization for Internet Graphical Ad Auction Systems via Special Ordered Sets
Both choices are deeply problematical: the second one seems to be incoherent because it is contradicted by the usual understanding of the formalism, whereas the first one seems to be ignoring common sense to the point of being foolish.
Bayesian Conditioning, the Reflection Principle, and Quantum Decoherence
But what if the investor is certain today that tomorrow he will regard $18 as the fair price for a share? It would then be foolish for him to buy, today, 500 shares for $20 each, because he is certain that tomorrow he would be willing to sell the shares for $18 each, leading to a net loss of $1000.
Bayesian Conditioning, the Reflection Principle, and Quantum Decoherence
In light of the success of spacetime ontology, this seems at first sight a foolish thing to do as it turns out that spatial scale invariance requires a fixed notion of simultaneity, which is incompatible with an integral part of relativity.
Symmetry Doubling: Doubly General Relativity
It would be foolish to ignore this and pretend th at we have any chance of success if we tried to reinvent physics from scratch.
Reverse Engineering Quantum Field Theory