(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 ?
Ceffyl ei dad, Huw Evans yw Fool Around ond mae Rhys yn hyfforddi ceffylau trotian nifer o berchnogion.
HAIR-RAISING James and David fool around in fake D&J Briefs advert HAIR-
Kelly and Billy fool around on St Barts Pictures: GOFFPHOTOS.
By doing this, they've allowed two weeks to fool around, and if they don't do anything, the contract stays in place.
Liz Esnouf, commercial director for Arriva North East, said: "As the nights draw in we want to make sure children understand it could be incredibly dangerous to fool around on or near the roadway.
They don't want to hear the technical talk or fool around with product manuals and wires.
If I do the work, I'll get the grades, but if I fool around, it won't get done.
Steve Noble, managing director for Arriva North East, said: "We want local children to understand it is actually incredibly dangerous to fool around on or near the roadway, both for themselves and for other people.