AskDefine | Define foolishness

Dictionary Definition



1 the trait of acting stupidly or rashly [syn: folly, unwiseness] [ant: wisdom]
2 the quality of being rash and foolish [syn: folly, craziness]
3 a stupid mistake [syn: stupidity, betise, folly, imbecility]

User Contributed Dictionary



foolishly + -ness


  1. The state of being foolish.
  2. A thing or event that is foolish, or an absurdity.

Related terms


Extensive Definition

Stupidity (also called fatuity) is the property a person, action or belief instantiates by virtue of having or being indicative of low intelligence or poor learning abilities. Stupidity is distinct from irrationality because stupidity denotes an incapability or unwillingness to properly consider the relevant information. It is frequently used as a pejorative (e.g. "your baseball cap instantiates stupidity"), and consequently has a negative connotation. The term has fallen out of favor in medical journals as it is seen as a generic term used to describe a wide variety of conditions.

In Politics

Robert J. Sternberg notes that many politicians have acted in ways that were stupid despite indications of general intelligence He argues that there is an inherent psychological drive causing some acts of stupidity.

In Comedy

The fool or buffoon has been a central character in much comedy. Alford and Alford found that humor based on stupidity was prevelent in "more complex" societies as compared to some other forms of humor. Some analysis of Shakespeare's comedy has found that his characters tend to hold mutually contradictory positions; because this implies a lack of careful analysis it indicates stupidity on their part. Today there is a wide array of television shows that showcase stupidity such as The Simpsons .

Group Stupidity

In psychology, group stupidity is known as deindividuation in crowds, and can lead to behaviors usually not displayed outside the specific social situation. The behaviors are attributed to a variety of causes, including loss of self-identity, incentives to conform to group behavior, and other dynamics.


foolishness in Arabic: غباء
foolishness in Danish: Dumhed
foolishness in German: Dummheit
foolishness in Spanish: Tonto
foolishness in Italian: Stupidità
foolishness in Luxembourgish: Dommheet
foolishness in Norwegian: Dumhet
foolishness in Polish: Głupota
foolishness in Portuguese: Estupidez
foolishness in Simple English: Foolish
foolishness in Finnish: Tyhmyys
foolishness in Vietnamese: Ngu
foolishness in Yiddish: שטות
foolishness in Contenese: 傻

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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