Definition of folly noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈfɒli//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfɑːli//
    (pl. follies) Historic buildings
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  1. 1[uncountable, countable] a lack of good judgement; the fact of doing something stupid; an activity or idea that shows a lack of judgement synonym stupidity an act of sheer folly Giving up a secure job seems to be the height of folly. folly (to do something) It would be folly to turn the offer down. the follies of youth His idealism had been soured by the varied spectacle of human folly.
  2. 2 [countable] a building that has no practical purpose but was built in the past for decoration, often in the garden of a large country house See related entries: Historic buildings
  3. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French folie ‘madness’, in modern French also ‘delight, favourite dwelling’ (compare with sense (2)), from fol ‘fool, foolish’.Extra examples Suddenly she saw the folly of it all. That would be an act of sheer folly! These facts demonstrate the folly of the policy. They have finally seen the folly of their ways. To sign away his rights to the book would have been the height of folly.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: folly