fool away


1 [fool]
a silly or stupid person; a person who lacks judgment or sense.
a professional jester, formerly kept by a person of royal or noble rank for amusement: the court fool.
a person who has been tricked or deceived into appearing or acting silly or stupid: to make a fool of someone.
an ardent enthusiast who cannot resist an opportunity to indulge an enthusiasm (usually preceded by a present participle): He's just a dancing fool.
a weak-minded or idiotic person.
verb (used with object)
to trick, deceive, or impose on: They tried to fool him.
verb (used without object)
to act like a fool; joke; play.
to jest; pretend; make believe: I was only fooling.
Verb phrases
fool around,
to putter aimlessly; waste time: She fooled around all through school.
to philander or flirt.
to be sexually promiscuous, especially to engage in adultery.
fool away, to spend foolishly, as time or money; squander: to fool away the entire afternoon.
fool with, to handle or play with idly or carelessly: to be hurt while fooling with a loaded gun; to fool with someone's affections.
be nobody's fool, to be wise or shrewd.

1225–75; Middle English fol, fool < Old French fol < Latin follis bellows, bag; cf. follis

unfooled, adjective
unfooling, adjective
well-fooled, adjective

1. simpleton, dolt, dunce, blockhead, numskull, ignoramus, dunderhead, ninny, nincompoop, booby, saphead, sap. 2. zany, clown. 5. moron, imbecile, idiot. 6. delude, hoodwink, cheat, gull, hoax, cozen, dupe, gudgeon.

1. genius. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fool1 (fuːl)
1.  a person who lacks sense or judgement
2.  a person who is made to appear ridiculous
3.  (formerly) a professional jester living in a royal or noble household
4.  obsolete an idiot or imbecile: the village fool
5.  (Caribbean) form the fool to play the fool or behave irritatingly
6.  no fool a wise or sensible person
7.  play the fool, act the fool to deliberately act foolishly; indulge in buffoonery
vb (foll by away)
8.  (tr) to deceive (someone), esp in order to make him or her look ridiculous
9.  informal (intr; foll by with, around with, or about with) to act or play (with) irresponsibly or aimlessly: to fool around with a woman
10.  (intr) to speak or act in a playful, teasing, or jesting manner
11.  to squander; fritter: he fooled away a fortune
12.  (US) fool along to move or proceed in a leisurely way
13.  informal short for foolish
[C13: from Old French fol mad person, from Late Latin follis empty-headed fellow, from Latin: bellows; related to Latin flāre to blow]

fool2 (fuːl)
chiefly (Brit) a dessert made from a purée of fruit with cream or custard: gooseberry fool
[C16: perhaps from fool1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 13c., from O.Fr. fol "madman, insane person," also an adj. meaning "mad, insane," from L. follis "bellows, leather bag," in V.L. used with a sense of "windbag, empty-headed person" (see follicle). Cf. also Skt. vatula- "insane," lit. "windy, inflated with wind."
"The word has in mod.Eng. a much stronger sense than it had at an earlier period; it has now an implication of insulting contempt which does not in the same degree belong to any of its synonyms, or to the derivative foolish." [OED]
Meaning "jester, court clown" first attested late 14c., though it is not always possible to tell whether the reference is to a professional entertainer or an amusing lunatic on the payroll. As the name of a kind of custard dish, it is attested from 1590s (the food was also called trifle, which may be the source of the name). The verb meaning "to make a fool of" is recorded from 1590s. Related: Fooled; fooling. As an adjective, fool foolish, silly is considered modern U.S. colloquial, but it is attested from early 13c. Feast of Fools (early 14c.), from M.L. festum stultorum) refers to the burlesque festival celebrated in some churches on New Year's Day in medieval times. Fool's gold "iron pyrite" is from 1882. Fool's paradise "state of illusory happiness" is from mid-15c. Fool around is 1875 in the sense of "pass time idly," 1970s in sense of "have sexual adventures." Foolosopher, a most useful insult, turns up in a 1549 translation of Erasmus. Fools ballocks is described in OED as an old name for the green-winged orchid.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

fool away

Squander, waste money or time, as in He was fooling away the entire afternoon. [Early 1600s] Also see fool around, def. 2.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Idioms & Phrases
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