folly Definition

  • 1lack of good sense or judgement; foolishness
  • 2a costly ornamental building with no practical purpose, especially a tower or mock-Gothic ruin built in a large garden or park

Using folly: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "folly" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    It would be folly to ignore the warnings.

  • Example

    The decision was seen as a great folly.

  • Example

    The castle was a folly built by a wealthy eccentric.

  • Example

    The idea of starting a business during a pandemic seemed like sheer folly.

folly Synonyms and Antonyms

Antonyms for folly

Idioms Using folly

  • to behave in a way that makes one look foolish or ridiculous


    He made a folly of himself by trying to impress his date with his terrible jokes.

  • throw caution to the wind(s)

    to take a risk without worrying about the possible consequences


    She decided to throw caution to the wind and quit her job to pursue her passion.

  • play with fire

    to do something that is very risky or dangerous


    He knew that investing all his savings in the stock market was playing with fire, but he did it anyway.

Phrases with folly

  • a situation where people continue to do something that is clearly foolish or dangerous


    The dance of folly continued as people ignored the warnings and partied in large groups.

  • a structure that is built for no practical purpose and is often considered a waste of resources


    The tower of folly was an extravagant addition to the garden, but it added little value to the property.

  • the tendency of young people to make foolish decisions due to their lack of experience and judgement


    The accident was a result of the folly of youth, as the driver was inexperienced and reckless.

Origins of folly

from Old French 'folie', meaning 'madness'


Summary: folly in Brief

The term 'folly' [ˈfɒli] refers to a lack of good sense or judgement, often resulting in foolish or imprudent behavior. It can also refer to a costly ornamental building with no practical purpose, such as a tower or mock-Gothic ruin. Examples include 'It would be folly to ignore the warnings.' and 'The castle was a folly built by a wealthy eccentric.' Idioms like 'make a folly of oneself' and 'throw caution to the wind(s)' highlight the risks of foolish behavior.