• definitions

fool around

[ fool ]SEE DEFINITION OF fool around

Synonyms for fool around

  • dawdle
  • hang around
  • idle
  • kill time
  • lark
  • mess around
  • play around

Antonyms for fool around

  • labor
  • toil
  • work
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


Oh, he may fool around with the women in the shop, but it doesn't lead to anything.

Hay, that stuff's not goin to stop growin while you fool around.

And don't you fool around any, because he'll want to know the news.

It's only a blasted gay-cat that'll fool around this country now.

If you don't believe it, just fool around town for a while and talk with some of the gang.

"It is too late to fool around with spies now," Darius said sharply.

Might as well do it now, instead of having to fool around with it later.

If I stay here I'll have to fool around with a hobby the rest of my life.

I'll take him over to Nassau, and you can fool around for the next month or so.

I've killed two Yankees this mornin', an' I'm not in the humor to fool around with an old pennyroyal huzzy like yo'.


late 13c., "silly or stupid person," from Old French fol "madman, insane person; idiot; rogue; jester," also "blacksmith's bellows," also an adjective meaning "mad, insane" (12c., Modern French fou), from Latin follis "bellows, leather bag" (see follicle); in Vulgar Latin used with a sense of "windbag, empty-headed person." Cf. also Sanskrit vatula- "insane," literally "windy, inflated with wind."

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 also was called trifle, which may be the source of the name).

Feast of Fools (early 14c.), from Medieval Latin 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 1829. Fool's paradise "state of illusory happiness" is from mid-15c. Foolosopher, a most useful insult, turns up in a 1549 translation of Erasmus. Fool's ballocks is described in OED as "an old name" for the green-winged orchid.


act up (misbehave)

verbmisbehave badly
  • act out
  • be bad
  • be out of line
  • behave badly
  • carry on
  • fool around
  • horseplay
  • make trouble
  • misbehave
  • rebel
  • set a bad example
  • show off
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.
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