Definition of folly in English:

folly

noun

  • 1[mass noun] Lack of good sense; foolishness.

    ‘an act of sheer folly’
    • ‘There is no future in trying to find a middle road between folly and common sense.’
    • ‘It seems to me that for a country of any size, nineteen political parties is sheer folly.’
    • ‘So then, do you think, Bill, the newspapers are just committing an exercise in folly, or is it good journalism?’
    • ‘This is sheer folly and reveals a lack of understanding of the power of saving regularly from an early age.’
    • ‘With a minute left, and the score 2-2, Phil Neville committed an act of folly in the penalty box and Ganea scored from the spot.’
    • ‘But to commit America to a broader role while remaining blindly ignorant of the ultimate cost of doing so is sheer folly.’
    • ‘‘It would be folly to abandon a national asset unless we were sure it had outlived its usefulness,’ he says passionately.’
    • ‘Why, it is sheer folly to attempt to predict who will prevail with so much uncertainty pervading the future.’
    • ‘A luxury player, great to add to a winning team, his purchase by City was the ultimate act of folly.’
    • ‘How much publicity should that act of folly generate, in comparison to the meaningless Plame farce?’
    • ‘But, having said that, some of the ways that people have been dispersed into the community have been sheer folly.’
    • ‘The residents of Tortuga put up with a lot, but it was sheer folly to fly the colors in a town.’
    • ‘Being booked for rejoicing in a goal is sheer folly in itself.’
    • ‘That act of folly summed up 30 minutes of dire rugby, but also seemed to spark Scotland into some semblance of life.’
    • ‘If anything, he has unwittingly sounded the sirens to launch a war without end by this single act of presidential folly.’
    • ‘The desire for rationalising and centralising local services is sheer folly and will lead to more traffic, more travelling and deprived communities.’
    • ‘But to attack him now, at a time when the Middle East is already on the brink of full-scale war, would be an act of terrible folly.’
    • ‘By an act of unthinking folly I used them as an example yesterday.’
    • ‘The Soviet colonisation of the Arctic was an act of extreme folly and cruelty.’
    • ‘What sheer folly it must be to fall in love if it makes one talk in such a silly manner.’
    1. 1.1[count noun]A foolish act, idea, or practice.
      ‘the follies of youth’
      • ‘They've committed one great folly in the mess-up with the dig tree.’
      • ‘It's a good idea to show the follies of socialism in pictorial form and he does have some good pictures.’
      • ‘Pensioners are being rack-rated to pay for the follies of this foolish Government.’
      • ‘We are full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other for our follies.’
      • ‘It cries out to be exploited as a grand folly, an emblem of muddle, hype and plain foolishness with enormous entertainment potential.’
      • ‘It is one of the follies of youth, indeed of all ages.’
      • ‘He is a pragmatist to the last breath and would never have indulged a personal folly, like Bacon did, in appointing a governor.’
      • ‘Political blunders and economic follies are depressing the Japanese economy.’
      • ‘In truth, it is a folly of gigantic proportions.’
      • ‘This is an enormous folly on behalf of the government.’
      • ‘True enough, Deacon, we're not about to start throwing stones at the political follies of one's youth.’
      • ‘To the average young whippersnapper of today, this would be most risible, but I care not for the follies of youth.’
      • ‘But one man's notion of a masterwork may be another's idea of a folly.’
      • ‘Right now, there was nothing to do but mope over her past follies and errors.’
      • ‘It is almost a folly to expect complete truth and sincerity among political parties and that too in today's dirty politics.’
      • ‘It is a peculiar folly, under these circumstances, for the rich to seek greater riches by selling weapons to the poor.’
      • ‘It is a suicidal folly to condone, much less encourage, any anarchic agenda, overlooking its disruptiveness in the national context.’
      • ‘While the teens spend a lost weekend in the countryside, the director makes lazy points about the follies of youth.’
      • ‘Disregard of the movements and sentiments developing around them was a primary folly.’
      • ‘I will conspicuously recycle the cans and glasses and papers, even though I suspect it's all a folly.’
  • 2A costly ornamental building with no practical purpose, especially a tower or mock-Gothic ruin built in a large garden or park.

    • ‘Apart from formal diversity, the symbolic and cultural role of the folly is also important.’
    • ‘Several folly towers and temples once formed part of the landscape at Emo.’
    • ‘There was also a folly and a burial ground, so all in all more sinister than friendly, in my opinion.’
    • ‘Built in 1843 in the style of a Greek temple, the folly is a Grade II Listed Building.’
    • ‘The most dominant garden feature is a folly with an interesting provenance.’
    • ‘A building can be symbolic of power, but it can also be a folly.’
    • ‘Ruins themselves are reminiscent of purpose-built folly gardens of the eighteenth century.’
    • ‘It's a fascinating folly in the woods, up a hill, offering stunning views over London, out into Kent, and across to Essex and beyond.’
    • ‘Why is this council contemplating spending £2 million of our tax on an unnecessary folly?’
    • ‘Wildly elaborate architectural follies, ruins and waterworks are featured in two 1982 drawings, both titled Haunted Village.’
    • ‘Later it made me think of follies built in the gardens of the English houses of the rich and often featuring in Agatha Christie plays.’
    • ‘At present, architectural production often seems to be of two quite dissimilar kinds: sheds and follies.’
    • ‘It is home to a folly tower, called the Summer House, built to commemorate the Reform Bill of 1832.’
    • ‘To others it is simply an artistic folly on a bleak Lanarkshire hillside.’
    • ‘It was also from Ruisdael that 18 th-century Britain inherited its love of gothic ruins and haunted follies.’
    • ‘The Strickland's other main legacy is much easier to spot: the fine folly tower, Carnaby Temple, sited atop of a nearby hill.’
    • ‘Known as the Temple de l' Amour, the folly is now the client's summer residence.’
    • ‘Now we have a swimming pool, a marvellous garden and a splendid folly.’
    • ‘This treatment of the hydrotherapy unit transcends function: the building is a kind of garden folly in a landscape of cars.’
    • ‘The monument to the seventh Earl continued the tradition of follies and garden buildings begun in the 18th century.’
  • 3A theatrical revue with glamorous female performers.

    [in combination] [in names] ‘the Ziegfeld Follies’
    • ‘As if the Paper Mill had blown its funds on Follies, this Gypsy, in sets and costumes that seem underfinanced, also looks underimagined.’
    • ‘I would have been very sorry indeed to have missed the latest reincarnation of the Stephen Sondheim musical Follies.’
    • ‘Opening night for the Gaslight Follies is Saturday, May 18.’
    • ‘The depression wiped out not only the Follies, but also the Vaudeville touring circuit.’
    • ‘Emma Clifford comes direct to the national tour of Chicago from playing ‘Young Salle’ in the recent London production of Follies.’
    • ‘Minto adult skaters have performed in every edition of the Follies that has been presented.’
    • ‘He was 15 when he saw his first Broadway production, Follies, and 32 years later he can still recall every moment ‘scene by scene.’’
    • ‘Her sister Doris had been employed to rehearse a group of dancing girls for a road show of the Follies for producer Ned Wayburn.’
    • ‘Along with Follies, the festival screens Wiseman's Law and Order and Domestic Violence.’
    • ‘But Spielberg's strong sense of nostalgia and his increasing sense of irony makes Follies, a forever ‘troubled’ show, a perfect match.’
    • ‘‘I'm one of the lucky ones,’ she says of performing in the Follies.’
    • ‘The Palace Grand Prize is the title of this year's instalment of the Gaslight Follies at the Palace Grand Theatre in Dawson City.’
    • ‘Instead of going back to the chorus, she took to the road, playing the lead roles in classic musicals like Can-Can, Gypsy, and Follies.’
    • ‘I recalled seeing him in a private screening of ‘Pep Follies of 1930,’ strumming his vulgar ukulele and screeching ‘Good Night Sweetheart.’’
    • ‘Drag Follies will be showing at the Arts Theatre Club in Patterson Street until May 28.’
    • ‘The women, now much older, reminisce, rekindle old friendships, open old wounds, and perform some of their Follies numbers.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French folie madness, in modern French also ‘delight, favourite dwelling’(compare with folly), from fol fool, foolish.

Pronunciation:

folly

/ˈfɒli/