Fool (?), n. [Cf. F. fouler to tread, crush. Cf. 1st Foil.]

A compound of gooseberries scalded and crushed, with cream; -- commonly called gooseberry fool.


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Fool, n. [OE. fol, n. & adj., F. fol, fou, foolish, mad; a fool, prob. fr. L. follis a bellows, wind bag, an inflated ball; perh. akin to E. bellows. Cf. Folly, Follicle.]


One destitute of reason, or of the common powers of understanding; an idiot; a natural.


A person deficient in intellect; one who acts absurdly, or pursues a course contrary to the dictates of wisdom; one without judgment; a simpleton; a dolt.

Extol not riches, then, the toil of fools. Milton.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. Franklin.

3. Script.

One who acts contrary to moral and religious wisdom; a wicked person.

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Ps. xiv. 1.


One who counterfeits folly; a professional jester or buffoon; a retainer formerly kept to make sport, dressed fantastically in motley, with ridiculous accouterments.

Can they think me . . . their fool or jester? Milton.

April fool, Court fool, etc. See under April, Court, etc. -- Fool's cap, a cap or hood to which bells were usually attached, formerly worn by professional jesters. -- Fool's errand, an unreasonable, silly, profitless adventure or undertaking. -- Fool's gold, iron or copper pyrites, resembling gold in color. -- Fool's paradise, a name applied to a limbo (see under Limbo) popularly believed to be the region of vanity and nonsense. Hence, any foolish pleasure or condition of vain self-satistaction. -- Fool's parsley Bot., an annual umbelliferous plant (Aethusa Cynapium) resembling parsley, but nauseous and poisonous. -- To make a fool of, to render ridiculous; to outwit; to shame. [Colloq.] -- To play the fool, to act the buffoon; to act a foolish part. "I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly." 1 Sam. xxvi. 21.


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Fool, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Fooled (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Fooling.]

To play the fool; to trifle; to toy; to spend time in idle sport or mirth.

<-- = to fool around -->

Is this a time for fooling? Dryden.


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Fool, v. t.


To infatuate; to make foolish.


For, fooled with hope, men favor the deceit. Dryden.


To use as a fool; to deceive in a shameful or mortifying manner; to impose upon; to cheat by inspiring foolish confidence; as, to fool one out of his money.

You are fooled, discarded, and shook off By him for whom these shames ye underwent. Shak.

To fool away, to get rid of foolishly; to spend in trifles, idleness, folly, or without advantage.


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