make a fool of

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make a fool (out) of someone

 and make a monkey (out) of someone
to make someone look foolish. John made a monkey out of himself while trying to make a fool out of Jim. John made a fool out of himself at the party. Are you trying to make a monkey out of me?
See also: fool, make, of

make a fool of yourself

also make a fool of somebody
to do something which makes you appear ridiculous If you're afraid to make a fool of yourself, you will never be a successful performer. My former husband thought it was fun to make a fool of me.
Related vocabulary: make a spectacle of yourself
See also: fool, make, of

make a fool of yourself

to do something which makes you seem stupid He's always getting drunk and making a fool of himself at parties.
See also: fool, make, of

make a fool of

Also, make an ass or monkey out of . Cause someone or oneself to look foolish or stupid. For example, John doesn't mind making a fool of himself at parties, or They made an ass of me by giving me the wrong instructions, or Just watch him make a monkey out of this amateur chess player. The use of fool and ass date from the early 1600s; the latter is sometimes put more rudely as make a horse's ass of, alluding to a horse's behind. The use of monkey dates from about 1900.
See also: fool, make, of