Meaning of “fool” in the English Dictionary

"fool" in English

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uk /fuːl/ us /fuːl/

fool noun (PERSON)

B1 [ C ] a person who behaves in a silly way without thinking:

He's a fool if he thinks she still loves him.
He said he would pay me back and like a fool, I believed him.
Ifelt like a fool when I dropped my phone in the toilet.
[ + to infinitive ] He's a fool to think she still loves him.
make a fool of sb

B2 to trick someone or make someone appear stupid in some way

make a fool of yourself

B2 to do something that makes other people think you are silly or not to be respected:

I got a little drunk and made a fool of myself.
any fool


Any fool could tell that she was joking.
be no fool also be nobody's fool

to not be stupid or easily deceived:

I notice Ed didn't offer to pay for her - he's no fool.
more fool sb UK

said to mean that you think someone is being unwise:

"I lent Rhoda £100 and she hasn't paid me back." "More fool you - you know what she's like!"

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[ C ] in the past, a person who was employed in the court of a king or queen to make the court laugh by telling jokes and doing funny things

act/play the fool

to behave in a silly way, often intentionally to make people laugh:

Stop acting the fool, I'm trying to talk to you.


uk /fuːl/ us /fuːl/

B2 [ I or T ] to trick someone:

Don't be fooled by his appearance.
She said she was doing it to help me, but I wasn't fooled.
Tim was fooled into believing that he'd won a lot of money.
you could have fooled me! informal

used to tell someone that you do not believe what they have just said:

"Really, I'm very happy." "You could have fooled me."

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Phrasal verb(s)

fooladjective [ before noun ]

uk /fuːl/ us /fuːl/ mainly US informal

(Definition of “fool” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"fool" in American English

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foolnoun [ C ]

us /ful/

a person who behaves in a silly way, or someone who lacks judgment:

Crazy I may be, but I try not to be a fool.
I know I’m making a fool of myself, but I can’t help it.
They were dressed up like a bunch of fools.

fooladjective [ not gradable ]

us /ful/ not standard

silly or stupid:

I made a damn fool mistake, but I’ll never do it again.

foolverb [ I/T ]

us /ful/

to trick or deceive someone:

[ T ] She tries to fool people about her age by wearing heavy makeup and coloring her hair.
[ I ] You don’t owe me a penny, I was only fooling (= joking).

(Definition of “fool” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)