Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of silly
Meaning of silly by Wiktionary Dictionary



    Phonetic variant of seely. From Old English *sǣliġ, "blessed", ( attested only in form ġesǣliġ ), from Proto-Germanic *sēlīgaz. Cognate with West Frisian sillich, Dutch zalig, German selig. More at sely .


    • X-SAMPA: /"sIli/
    • IPA: /ˈsɪli/
    • Rhymes: -ɪli
    • Homophone: Scilly


    silly ( comparative sillier, superlative silliest )

    1. ( archaic ) Pitiable; deserving of compassion; helpless.
    2. ( obsolete ) Simple, unsophisticated, ordinary; rustic, ignorant.
    3. foolish, showing a lack of good sense and wisdom; frivolous, trifling .
      I made a very silly mistake .
    4. irresponsible, showing irresponsible behaviors .
      What a silly kid, he's always getting in trouble .
    5. playful, giggly .
      The newlyweds called each other silly little nicknames .
    6. semiconscious, witless .
      The impact of the ball knocked him silly .
    7. ( cricket ) of a fielding position, very close to the batsman; closer than short
    8. ( pejorative ) simple, not intelligent, refined .
      John was prosperous and his helpless, silly father could be of no use to him .

    Derived terms




    silly ( plural: sillies )

    1. ( colloquial ) A silly person; a fool .
    2. ( colloquial ) A mistake .


Explanation of silly by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. dazed from or as if from repeated blows

    2. knocked silly by the impact
    3. inspiring scornful pity

    4. how silly an ardent and unsuccessful wooer can be especially if he is getting on in years- Dashiell Hammett
    5. lacking seriousness

    6. silly giggles
    7. ludicrous, foolish

    8. a silly idea
    1. a word used for misbehaving children

    2. don't be a silly

    Definition of silly by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Silly, a. [Compar. Sillier ; superl. Silliest.] [OE. seely, sely, AS. slig, geslig, happy, good, fr. sl, sl, good, happy, sl good fortune, happines; akin to OS. sālig, a, good, happy, D. zalig blessed, G. selig, OHG. sālīg, Icel. sl, Sw. säll, Dan. salig, Goth. sls good, kind, and perh. also to L. sollus whole, entire, Gr. , Skr. sarva. Cf. Seel, n.]
      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.