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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce foolish (audio)

Dictionary definition of foolish

Lacking good judgment, wisdom, or prudence.
"It was a foolish decision to quit your job without having another one lined up."

Detailed meaning of foolish

It is used to characterize actions, decisions, or behaviors that are considered unwise, imprudent, or lacking in common sense. A foolish person may act or speak without considering the potential consequences or without understanding the full implications of their actions. They often disregard rationality or fail to recognize the practicality of a situation, leading to outcomes that are often regrettable or undesirable. Foolishness can stem from a lack of knowledge, experience, or foresight, resulting in actions that appear silly, illogical, or even reckless. It is important to note that foolishness is not synonymous with stupidity, as foolish individuals may possess intelligence but make unwise choices due to various factors, such as impulsiveness or emotional reasoning.

Example sentences containing foolish

1. He made a foolish mistake by investing all his savings in a risky business venture.
2. She felt foolish after realizing she had been arguing with someone who was actually agreeing with her.
3. It was foolish of him to believe everything he read on the internet without fact-checking.
4. The student's foolish behavior during class resulted in a detention.
5. It would be foolish to attempt climbing that mountain without proper equipment and training.
6. She felt foolish wearing flip-flops in the pouring rain and ended up with soaked feet.

History and etymology of foolish

The adjective 'foolish' derives its origin from the Middle English word 'follish,' which evolved from the Old English 'fōl,' meaning 'stupid' or 'ignorant.' This term has ancient Germanic roots, closely related to Old High German 'fuol' and Old Norse 'fúll,' all of which share the common idea of lacking good judgment or wisdom. 'Foolish' has retained its essential meaning over the centuries, describing someone who acts or behaves in a manner that lacks prudence, wisdom, or sound judgment, often making unwise decisions or choices. This etymology reflects the enduring nature of the concept it conveys, as human folly and imprudent actions have been observed and commented upon throughout history.

Quiz: Find the meaning of foolish

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Further usage examples of foolish

1. He looked foolish trying to fix his car engine without any mechanical knowledge.
2. It was a foolish move to eat spicy food before an important presentation.
3. The foolish prank they pulled ended up causing damage to the school property.
4. He felt foolish for forgetting his lines during the play and stood there in silence.
5. It would be foolish to lend money to someone who has a history of not repaying debts.
6. Making hasty decisions can lead to foolish mistakes.
7. It's unwise to ignore the counsel of the experienced.
8. Acting without thinking is a hallmark of foolish behavior.
9. A foolish gambler risks everything without a strategy.
10. Ignoring advice often results in foolish consequences.
11. Foolish pride can blind us to our own shortcomings.
12. Wisdom comes from learning from one's foolish errors.
13. The young often learn life's lessons through foolishness.
14. Foolish decisions can have long-lasting repercussions.
15. A foolish attempt at humor can offend others.
16. Rejecting constructive criticism is a foolish choice.
17. Wise people admit their mistakes; foolish ones deny them.
18. Taking unnecessary risks is a hallmark of foolishness.
19. A foolish argument seldom leads to resolution.
20. Hasty actions can turn a wise person into a foolish one.
21. The foolish adventurer didn't prepare for the journey.
22. Trusting blindly in strangers is an act of foolishness.
23. Foolish choices can cost us dearly in the long run.
24. It's unwise to underestimate the power of foolish pride.
25. Wisdom lies in learning from the foolishness of the past.



unwise, sensible, prudent, wise


Suffix -ish, TOEFL 2, High School 13, Naivety and Stupidity

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