foolhardy

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English fọ̄l-hardī, folhardy, folherdi, folehardi, from Old French fol hardi (foolishly bold), from Old French fol (foolish, silly; insane, mad) (from Latin follis (bellows; purse, sack; inflated ball; belly, paunch), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *bʰelǵʰ- (to swell)) + Old French hardi (durable, hardy, tough) (past tense of hardir (to harden), from the unattested Frankish *hartjan, from Proto-Germanic *harduz (hard; brave)), equivalent to fool +‎ hardy. Compare fool-bold, fool-large, etc.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

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

  1. Marked by unthinking recklessness with disregard for danger; boldly rash; hotheaded.
    • 1387–1400, Geoffrey Chaucer, “The Monkes Prologue”, in The Canterbury Tales, [Westminster: William Caxton, published 1478], OCLC 230972125; republished as William Thynne, editor, The Woorkes of Geffrey Chaucer, Newly Printed, with Diuers Addicions, which were Neuer in Printe before: With the Siege and Destruccion of the Worthy Citee of Thebes, Compiled by Ihon Lidgate, Monke of Berie. As in the Table More Plainly Dooeth Appere, London: Imprinted at London, by Ihon Kyngston, for Ihon Wight, dwellying in Poules Churchyarde, 1561, OCLC 932919585, folio LXXX, verso, column 1:
      This is my life, but if that I woll fight / And out at dore, anon I mote me dight / And els I am loſte, but if that I / Be like a wilde lion, fole hardy
    • 1876, Mark Twain [pseudonym; Samuel Langhorne Clemens], chapter VI, in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Hartford, Conn.: The American Publishing Company, OCLC 1000326417, page 68:
      The master's pulse stood still, and he stared helplessly. The buzz of study ceased. The pupils wondered if this fool-hardy boy had lost his mind.
    • 2000, Bill Bryson, chapter 1, in In a Sunburned Country, 1st US edition, New York, N.Y.: Broadway Books, ISBN 978-0-7679-0385-1, page 14:
      In the middle distance several foolhardy souls in wet suits were surfing toward some foamy outbursts on the rocky headland; nearer in, a scattering of paddlers was being continually and, it seemed, happily engulfed by explosive waves.
    • 2017 March 26, “The Observer view on triggering article 50: As Britain hurtles towards the precipice, truth and democracy are in short supply”, in The Observer[1], London, archived from the original on 30 August 2017:
      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.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]