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silly Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a word used for misbehaving children
    • don't be a silly
  2. adjective satellite ludicrous, foolish
    cockamamie; wacky; goofy; sappy; whacky; zany; cockamamy.
    • gave me a cockamamie reason for not going
    • wore a goofy hat
    • a silly idea
    • some wacky plan for selling more books
  3. adjective satellite lacking seriousness; given to frivolity
    giddy; featherbrained; airheaded; lightheaded; empty-headed; dizzy; light-headed.
    • a dizzy blonde
    • light-headed teenagers
    • silly giggles
  4. adjective satellite inspiring scornful pity
    ridiculous; pathetic.
    • how silly an ardent and unsuccessful wooer can be especially if he is getting on in years"- Dashiell Hammett
  5. adjective satellite dazed from or as if from repeated blows
    slaphappy; punch-drunk.
    • knocked silly by the impact
    • slaphappy with exhaustion

Sil"ly adjective
OE. seely, sely, AS. slig, geslig, happy, good, fr. sl, sl, good, happy, sl good fortune, happines; akin to OS. salig, a, good, happy, D. zalig blessed, G. selig, OHG. salig, Icel. sl, Sw. säll, Dan. salig, Goth. sls good, kind, and perh. also to L. sollus whole, entire, Gr. , Skr. sarva. Cf. Seel, n.
comparative Sillier ; superlative Silliest
  1. Happy; fortunate; blessed. Obs. Chaucer.
  2. Harmless; innocent; inoffensive. Obs. "This silly, innocent Custance." Chaucer.
    The silly virgin strove him to withstand. Spenser.
    A silly, innocent hare murdered of a dog. Robynson (More's Utopia).
  3. Weak; helpless; frail. Obs.
    After long storms . . . With which my silly bark was tossed sore. Spenser.
    The silly buckets on the deck. Coleridge.
  4. Rustic; plain; simple; humble. Obs.
    A fourth man, in a sillyhabit. Shak.
    All that did their silly thoughts so busy keep. Milton.
  5. Weak in intellect; destitute of ordinary strength of mind; foolish; witless; simple; as, a silly woman.
  6. Proceeding from want of understanding or common judgment; characterized by weakness or folly; unwise; absurd; stupid; as, silly conduct; a silly question. Syn. -- Simple; brainless; witless; shallow; foolish; unwise; indiscreet. See Simple.

Webster 1913