Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Wikipedia.
1. Architecture a building in the form of a castle, temple, etc., built to satisfy a fancy or conceit, often of an eccentric kind
2. Theatre an elaborately costumed revue
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
A functionally useless, whimsical or extravagant structure; often a fake ruin; sometimes built in a landscaped park to highlight a specific view, serve as a conversation piece, or to commemorate a person or event.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
A functionally useless structure, often a fake ruin, sometimes built in a landscaped park to highlight a view.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Fools (See CLOWNS.)Abu Jahl
“father of folly”; opposes Mohammed. [Muslim Tradition: Koran 22:8]
spends profits before selling his goods. [Arab. Lit.: Arabian Nights, “The Barber’s Fifth Night”]
Bay of Pigs, the
Matisse’s famous painting, displayed in the Museum of Modern Art for 47 days before someone discovered it was being shown upside down. [Am. Hist.: Wallechinsky, 472]
Chamberlain, Arthur Nevil
disastrous U.S.-backed invasion of Cuba (1961). [Am. Hist.: Van Doren, 577]
British Prime Minister attempted to avert war by policy of appeasement. [Eur. Hist.: Collier’s, IV, 552]
dog returning to his vomit
traditional symbol of folly. [Plant Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 173]
and so the fool to his foolishness. [O. T.: Proverbs 26:11 ]
the first profitable steamship, originally considered a failure. [Am. Hist.: NCE, 1025]
English village proverbially noted for the folly (some-times wisely deliberate) of its residents. [Eng. Folklore: Brewer Dictionary, 410]
spends years writing novel; only finishes first sentence. [Fr. Lit.: The Plague]
bloody Viet Nam battle over strategically worthless objective (1969). [Am. Hist.: Van Doren, 631]
Laputa and Lagada
after completing construction, the contractors installed boilers and started fires before discovering they had forgotten to build a chimney. [Am. Hist.: Wallechinsky, 470]
Seward’s Folly Alaska
lands where wise men conduct themselves inanely. [Br. Lit.: Gulliver’s Travels]
once seemingly valueless territory which William Henry Seward bought for two cents an acre (1867), thirty years before the Klondike gold rush. [Am. Hist.: Payton, 610]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.