Definition of silly adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈsɪli//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɪli//
    (sillier, silliest) Stupid
    jump to other results
  1. 1  showing a lack of thought, understanding or judgement synonym foolish a silly idea That was a silly thing to do! Her work is full of silly mistakes. ‘I can walk home.’ ‘Don't be silly—it's much too far!’ You silly boy! How silly of me to expect them to help!
  2. 2  stupid or embarrassing, especially in a way that is more typical of a child than an adult synonym ridiculous a silly sense of humour a silly game I feel silly in these clothes. She had a silly grin on her face. (especially British English) I got it for a silly price (= very cheap). See related entries: Stupid
  3. 3  not practical or serious We had to wear these silly little hats. Why worry about a silly thing like that?
  4. Word Originlate Middle English (in the sense ‘deserving of pity or sympathy’): alteration of dialect seely ‘happy’, later ‘innocent, feeble’, from a West Germanic base meaning ‘luck, happiness’. The sense ‘foolish’ developed via the stages ‘feeble’ and ‘unsophisticated, ignorant’.Extra examples a really silly question ‘I can walk home.’ ‘Don’t be silly—it’s much too far!’ Don’t be silly! Of course I wasn’t there. I feel really silly in these clothes. No, actually that’s a silly idea. That was a silly thing to do! This is getting silly! I think we had all better calm down.Idioms
    drink, laugh, shout, etc. yourself silly
    jump to other results
    (informal) to drink, laugh, shout, etc. so much that you cannot behave in a sensible way
    play (silly) games (with somebody)
    jump to other results
    not to treat a situation seriously, especially in order to cheat somebody Don't play silly games with me; I know you did it.
    (British English, informal) to behave in a stupid and annoying way Stop playing silly buggers and give me a hand with this!
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: silly