(redirected from fool around)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms, Wikipedia.



court jester,

a person who entertains with buffoonery and an often caustic wit. In all countries from ancient times and extending into the 18th cent., mental and physical deformity provided amusement. Attached to noble and royal courts were dwarfs, cripples, idiots, albinos, and freaks. The medieval court fool was seldom mentally deficient. For the freedom to indulge in satire, tricks, and repartee, many men of keen insight and caustic wit obtained powerful patronage by assuming the role of fool. This role was played in the courts of the East, in ancient Greece and Rome, and in the court of Montezuma. The clownclown,
a comic character usually distinguished by garish makeup and costume whose antics are both humorously clumsy and acrobatic. The clown employs a broad, physical style of humor that is wordless or not as self-consciously verbal as the traditional fool or jester.
..... Click the link for more information.
 or jester was common in Elizabethan drama (e.g., the Fool in King Lear), and by donning the fool's garb the actor gained the freedom of the fool. His costume, which was hung with bells, usually consisted of a varicolored coat, tight breeches with legs of different colors—occasionally a long petticoat was worn—and a bauble (mock scepter) and a cap which fitted close to the head or fell over the shoulders in the form of asses' ears. Till Eulenspiegel and Robin Goodfellow are mythical fools.


See B. Swain, Fools and Folly (1932); E. Welsford, The Fool (1936, repr. 1961); S. Billington, A Social History of the Fool (1984).


(formerly) a professional jester living in a royal or noble household


Fool's Lisp. A small Scheme interpreter.
References in periodicals archive ?
If the smart and ambitious kids are less likely to fool around, should we assume the unmotivated and less intelligent teens will stray off the chaste path?
Some children might think it could be exciting to fool around near railway lines, but the reality is it is incredibly dangerous and could result in serious injury or even being killed.
But at least the absurd situation provides the rapper-actors with opportunities to crack wise and fool around with weapons (Kurupt plays another inmate).
Gibson made it clear he wasn't there to fool around.
Lisa, 36, ended an eight-month romance following the ex-Army major's antics in Fool Around on digital channel E4.
But once we come back into the dugout in between innings, we fool around,'' said junior Delmon Young, considered the best high school player in the country but, among his teammates, just another funny man.
Gemma Morris scooped the cash after days flirting with the Dubliner on TV show Fool Around With My Boyfriend.