Fool's errand

Fool's errand
Fool 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}.] 1. One destitute of reason, or of the common powers of understanding; an idiot; a natural. [1913 Webster]

2. 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. [1913 Webster]

Extol not riches, then, the toil of fools. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. --Franklin. [1913 Webster]

3. (Script.) One who acts contrary to moral and religious wisdom; a wicked person. [1913 Webster]

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. --Ps. xiv. 1. [1913 Webster]

4. One who counterfeits folly; a professional jester or buffoon; a retainer formerly kept to make sport, dressed fantastically in motley, with ridiculous accouterments. [1913 Webster]

Can they think me . . . their fool or jester? --Milton. [1913 Webster]

{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 ({[AE]thusa 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. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • fool's errand — n. a foolish, fruitless task or undertaking …   English World dictionary

  • fool's errand — noun a fruitless mission • Hypernyms: ↑mission, ↑charge, ↑commission * * * ˌfool s ˈerrand f7 [fool s errand fool s errands] noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • Fool's errand — A fool s errand may mean:*Fool s Errand (novel) * The Fool s Errand , a computer gameee also*Snipe hunt …   Wikipedia

  • fool's errand — /ˈfulz ɛrənd/ (say foohlz eruhnd) noun 1. an absurd or useless errand: *Life was a fool s errand, carrying news to the worms. –kylie tennant, 1946. –phrase 2. send on a fool s errand , to cause someone to become involved in something that is a… …   Australian-English dictionary

  • fool's errand —    If you go on a fool s errand, you try to do something which is useless, unnecessary or has no chance of success.     I realized it was a fool s errand to look for a bank in such an isolated region …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • fool's errand — fool s′ er′rand n. a completely absurd, pointless, or useless errand …   From formal English to slang

  • fool's errand — noun a) A foolish undertaking, especially one that is purposeless, fruitless, nonsensical, or certain to fail. If I were to travel only that I might be discontented with that which I can get at home, methinks I should go but on a fools errand …   Wiktionary

  • fool's errand — a completely absurd, pointless, or useless errand. * * * …   Universalium

  • fool's errand —    see *April Fool s Day, occupational customs …   A Dictionary of English folklore

  • fool's errand — noun a task or activity that has no hope of success …   English new terms dictionary

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