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From Middle English bifolen, equivalent to be- +‎ fool.


befool (third-person singular simple present befools, present participle befooling, simple past and past participle befooled)

  1. (transitive, archaic) To make a fool out of (someone); to fool, trick, or deceive (someone).
    • 1853, William Makepeace Thackeray, chapter 40, in The Newcomes:
      Flattery is their nature—to coax, flatter and sweetly befool some one is every woman's business.
    • 1901, Andrew Lang, "The Fairy of the Dawn" in The Violet Fairy Book:
      But above all beware never to look the Fairy of the Dawn in the face, for she has eyes that will bewitch you, and glances that will befool you.
    • 2009 July 13, "BJP workers stage protest after leader dies in hospital," TImes of India (retrieved 29 May 2013):
      They alleged Dr Sidhu had no specialization in reducing weight and was only befooling innocent people.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Although archaic in Western countries, this verb is still current in the English of South Asia.