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September 14, 2022

Tomfoolery / noun / tom·​fool·​ery

Tomfoolery is a noun that refers to silly or childish acts or behaviors. People who engage in tomfoolery are acting clownish or like a buffoon. Tomfoolery can also refer to senseless acts or utter nonsense.

In a Sentence

The teacher sent the high school student to the principal's office because he repeatedly engaged in tomfoolery during a math class that disturbed the other students.

The tomfoolery going on in the seats directly behind them kept the couple from enjoying the movie premier at the new theater.

She was embarrassed and ashamed to show her face in public when she realized tomfoolery tricked her out of millions of dollars.


Etymologists believe that the word “tomfoolery” has an interesting backstory. Back in the Middle Ages, people deemed to be idiotic were given the nickname “Thome Fole.” This insult has made its way to our modern language as a noun for idiotic or foolish behavior!

The word's first recorded use in its modern definition was in the mid-1800s. There has not been a change in meaning since its introduction.


Buffoonery, Clownery


Seriousness, Sobriety


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