folly

[fol-ee]
noun, plural follies for 2–6.
1.
the state or quality of being foolish; lack of understanding or sense.
2.
a foolish action, practice, idea, etc.; absurdity: the folly of performing without a rehearsal.
3.
a costly and foolish undertaking; unwise investment or expenditure.
4.
Architecture. a whimsical or extravagant structure built to serve as a conversation piece, lend interest to a view, commemorate a person or event, etc.: found especially in England in the 18th century.
5.
follies, a theatrical revue.
6.
Obsolete. wickedness; wantonness.

Origin:
1175–1225; Middle English folie < Old French, derivative of fol, fou foolish, mad. See fool1

superfolly, noun, plural superfollies.


2. imprudence, rashness, mistake, foolishness, indiscretion, injudiciousness; madness, lunacy.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
folly (ˈfɒlɪ)
 
n , pl -lies
1.  the state or quality of being foolish; stupidity; rashness
2.  a foolish action, mistake, idea, etc
3.  a building in the form of a castle, temple, etc, built to satisfy a fancy or conceit, often of an eccentric kind
4.  (plural) theatre an elaborately costumed revue
5.  archaic
 a.  evil; wickedness
 b.  lewdness; wantonness
 
[C13: from Old French folie madness, from fou mad; see fool1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

folly
early 13c., from O.Fr. folie, from fol (see fool). Sense of "costly structure considered to have shown folly in the builder" is attested from 1650s. Used since M.E. of place names, especially country estates, as a form of O.Fr. folie in its meaning "delight." Meaning "glamorous
theatrical revue with lots of pretty girls" is from 1880, from French.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
No wonder some cultures think selecting a lifelong mate based on something so
  fleeting is folly.
She had a round face and eyes that sparkled with the certainty that human folly
  ruled and wasn't that a hoot.
No wonder some cultures think selecting a life-long mate based on something so
  fleeting is folly.
Second is the vulnerability of waters to this destructive folly.
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