Meaning of “foolish” in the English Dictionary

"foolish" in British English

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uk /ˈfuː.lɪʃ/ us /ˈfuː.lɪʃ/

B2 unwise, stupid, or not showing good judgment:

That was a rather foolish thing to do.
She was afraid that she would look foolish if she refused.
It was foolish of them to pay so much.

More examples

  • I felt very foolish standing there with only one shoe on.
  • You were very foolish to go out in a boat in weather like this.
  • It would be foolish to give up your job when you haven't got any other source of income.
  • I was foolish to buy such an expensive piece of equipment without checking that we really needed it.
  • He made a foolish bet with his brother and now he has to pay up.
adverb uk /ˈfuː.lɪʃ.li/ us /ˈfuː.lɪʃ.li/


Foolishly, I didn't write the phone number down.
noun [ U ] uk /ˈfuː.lɪʃ.nəs/ us /ˈfuː.lɪʃ.nəs/

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

"foolish" in American English

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us /ˈfu·lɪʃ/

stupid or unwise:

She was afraid that she would look foolish if she refused to go along with her friends.
It would be foolish of us to assume that everything will work out fine.
adverb us /ˈfu·lɪʃ·li/

I would just like to know that my taxes are not being foolishly spent.
noun [ U ] us /ˈfu·lɪʃ·nəs/

My father was not one to tolerate foolishness.

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