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



    BrE BrE//fuːl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fuːl//
    Sweets and desserts, Stupid
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  1. 1[countable] a person who you think behaves or speaks in a way that lacks intelligence or good judgement synonym idiot Don't be such a fool! I felt a fool when I realized my mistake. He told me he was an actor and I was fool enough to believe him. See related entries: Stupid
  2. 2 [countable] (in the past) a man employed by a king or queen to entertain people by telling jokes, singing songs, etc. synonym jester
  3. 3 [uncountable, countable] (British English) (usually in compounds) a cold light dessert (= a sweet dish) made from fruit that is cooked and crushed and mixed with cream or custard rhubarb fool See related entries: Sweets and desserts
  4. Word Originnoun senses 1 to 2 Middle English: from Old French fol ‘fool, foolish’, from Latin follis ‘bellows, windbag’, by extension ‘empty-headed person’. noun sense 3 late 16th cent.: perhaps from fool ‘foolish’.Extra examples He thought that being an actor only involved tap dancing and playing the fool. I felt like a fool when I realized what I’d done. I thought it was safe to leave my suitcase there. More fool me. Like a fool, I told her everything. She doesn’t suffer fools gladly. She was angry at having been made a fool of. She’s nobody’s fool. She had the car checked by a mechanic before buying it. Stop acting the fool and be serious! Stop behaving like a fool! That fool of a doctor has prescribed me the wrong medicine! The poor old fool was imprisoned on my account. They had left me looking like a fool. You silly little fool! You’re an even bigger fool than I thought. court fools who used to provide entertainment in the royal court Don’t be such a fool! I made a complete fool of myself in front of everyone. You must take me for a fool!Idioms to behave in a stupid way in order to make people laugh, especially in a way that may also annoy them Quit playing the fool and get some work done! (informal) used to say that something is very easy to do Any fool could tell she was lying. to be too intelligent or know too much about something to be tricked by other people She's nobody's fool when it comes to dealing with difficult patients.
    a fool and his money are soon parted
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    (saying) a person who is not sensible usually spends money too quickly or carelessly, or is cheated by others
    fools rush in (where angels fear to tread)
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    (saying) people with little experience try to do the difficult or dangerous things which more experienced people would not consider doing
    make a fool of somebody
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    to say or do something deliberately so that people will think that somebody is stupid Can't you see she's making a fool of you? I will not be made a fool of like this. Synonymscheatfool deceive betray take in trick conThese words all mean to make somebody believe something that is not true, especially in order to get what you want.cheat to make somebody believe something that is not true, in order to get money or something else from them:She is accused of attempting to cheat the taxman. He cheated his way into the job. Cheat also means to act in a dishonest way in order to gain an advantage, especially in a game, competition or exam:You’re not allowed to look at the answers— that’s cheating.fool to make somebody believe something that is not true, especially in order to laugh at them or to get what you want:Just don’t be fooled into investing any money with them.deceive to make somebody believe something that is not true, especially somebody who trusts you, in order to get what you want:She deceived him into handing over all his savings.betray to hurt somebody who trusts you, especially by deceiving them or not being loyal to them:She felt betrayed when she found out the truth about him.take somebody in [often passive] to deceive somebody, usually in order to get what you want:I was taken in by her story.trick to deceive somebody, especially in a clever way, in order to get what you want.con (informal) to deceive somebody, especially in order to get money from them or get them to do something for you:They had been conned out of £100 000.which word? Many of these words involve making somebody believe something that is not true, but some of them are more disapproving than others. Deceive is probably the worst because people typically deceive friends, relations and others who know and trust them. People may feel cheated/​betrayed by somebody in authority who they trusted to look after their interests. If somebody takes you in, they may do it by acting a part and using words and charm effectively. If somebody cheats/​fools/​tricks/​cons you, they may get something from you and make you feel stupid. However, somebody might fool you just as a joke; and to trick somebody is sometimes seen as a clever thing to do, if the person being tricked is seen as a bad person who deserves it.Patterns to cheat/​fool/​trick/​con somebody out of something to cheat/​fool/​deceive/​betray/​trick/​con somebody into doing something to feel cheated/​fooled/​deceived/​betrayed/​tricked/​conned to fool/​deceive yourself to cheat/​trick/​con your way into something
    make a fool of yourself
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    to do something stupid which makes other people think that you are a fool I made a complete fool of myself in front of everyone!
    more fool somebody (for doing something)
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    (informal) used to say that you think that somebody was stupid to do something, especially when it causes them problems ‘He's not an easy person to live with.’ ‘More fool her for marrying him!’ ‘I know I shouldn’t have given him the money, but I did.’ ‘More fool you!’
    (there’s) no fool like an old fool
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    (saying) an older person who behaves in a stupid way is worse than a younger person who does the same thing, because experience should have taught him or her not to do it
    not suffer fools gladly
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    to have very little patience with people that you think are stupid She was a forceful personality who didn't suffer fools gladly.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: fool