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From Middle English folhardy, folehardi, folherdi, from Old French fol hardi (foolishly bold), equivalent to fool +‎ hardy. Compare fool-bold, fool-large, etc.



foolhardy (comparative foolhardier or more foolhardy, superlative foolhardiest or most foolhardy)

  1. Marked by unthinking recklessness with disregard for danger; boldly rash; hotheaded
    • 1876, Mark Twain, chapter 6, in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer[1]:
      The master’s pulse stood still, and he stared helplessly. The buzz of study ceased. The pupils wondered if this foolhardy boy had lost his mind.
    • 2000, Bill Bryson, In a Sunburned Country, page 14:
      In the middle distance several foolhardy souls in wet suits were surfing toward some foamy outbursts on the rocky headland...
    • 2017 March 27, “The Observer view on triggering article 50”, in The Observer[2]:
      It is a reckless, foolhardy leap into the unknown and the prelude, perhaps, to what the existentialist writer Albert Camus described in La chute – a fall from grace, in every conceivable sense.


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