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[fool-hahr-dee] /ˈfulˌhɑr di/
adjective, foolhardier, foolhardiest.
recklessly or thoughtlessly bold; foolishly rash or venturesome.
Origin of foolhardy
1175-1225; Middle English folhardy < Old French fol hardi. See fool1, hardy1
Related forms
foolhardily, adverb
foolhardiness, noun
impetuous, headlong, heedless, incautious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for foolhardiness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When the engineer at last caught sight of him it was with a feeling of anger at what he regarded as the foolhardiness of the boy.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • The Major said that it was foolhardiness; the Captain bantered me to go.

    Campaigns of a Non-Combatant, George Alfred Townsend
  • The pronoun is emphatic: it means to say, His foolhardiness is My doing and cannot go beyond My will: thou art safe.

  • Better as it is: over-caution is as great an error as foolhardiness.

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
  • Lady Deppingham had just been guilty of a most astounding piece of foolhardiness, and he was discussing it with the Enemy.

    The Man From Brodney's George Barr McCutcheon
  • On the top of a hill near by Peter bemoaned his losses and, it is said, his foolhardiness.

    Peter the Hermit Daniel A. Goodsell
  • This was done with all the foolhardiness inseparable from a display which the vulgar are only too apt to regard as miraculous.

  • How many lives are lost through ignorance and foolhardiness!

    Hunter's Marjory Margaret Bruce Clarke
  • It is not easy for a man well provided with weapons to pursue an armed Indian, but to attempt it unarmed is foolhardiness.

    The Delight Makers Adolf Bandelier
British Dictionary definitions for foolhardiness


adjective -hardier, -hardiest
heedlessly rash or adventurous
Derived Forms
foolhardily, adverb
foolhardiness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French fol hardi, from fol foolish + hardi bold
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for foolhardiness



early 13c., from fool (n.) + Middle English hardi "bold;" hence "foolishly brave" (see hardy). Cf. Old French fol hardi.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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