fool around

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Related to fooling around: call off, touch base, Playing Around, messing around

fool around

1. To play or tinker with something, often in an aimless manner. Hey, don't fool around with the thermostat—it needs to stay at 68 degrees. Grandpa's still fooling around with that old radio, but I doubt he'll get it to work again.
2. To engage in aimless recreation or frivolous time-wasting. Quit fooling around with the dog and work on your book report already!
3. To have a casual sexual relationship with someone. Betsy and I are just fooling around, which is great because I don't want a serious relationship anyway.
4. To joke about something. Often used in the negative to indicate absolute seriousness. Oh, come on, Tina, we're just fooling around. We didn't mean it. You guys, Mom is not fooling around. She said she would ground us for a month if she caught us again.
See also: around, fool
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

fool around

to waste time doing something unnecessary or doing something amateurishly. Stop fooling around and clean your room as I told you. I wish you didn't spend so much time fooling around.
See also: around, fool
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

fool around

1. Also, monkey around. Engage in idle or casual activity, putter. For example, Jim loved to fool around with his computer, or She was monkeying around with some figures in hopes of balancing the budget. [Second half of 1800s]
2. Engage in frivolous activity, waste time. For example, Instead of studying, he spends all his spare time fooling around. Also see fool away.
3. Engage in flirting or casual sexual acts; also, engage in adultery. For example, He caught the two teenagers fooling around in the basement. [1830s]
See also: around, fool
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

fool around

v.
1. Slang To engage in frivolous activity; goof off: The children are fooling around in the yard.
2. Slang fool around with To manipulate or work with something without a clear purpose; toy with something: Who's been fooling around with my briefcase?
3. Vulgar Slang To engage in casual, often promiscuous sexual activity.
4. Vulgar Slang To be sexually unfaithful.
See also: around, fool
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"She has remained loyal to you and done her best to get you off the hook by suggesting that it was just fooling around," he said.
Meanwhile Gary Lineker's fooling around for Walker's helped it shift 112m packets of crisps last year.
Police yesterday warned of the dangers of fooling around with imitation firearms after a couple preparing for a fancy dress party caused a major alert.
Fooling around with spiritual imagery is tricky business.
Porter and McGillis do it every which way: indoors and outdoors, standing up against refrigerators and chain-link fences, engaging in sadomasochistic sex play in a bedroom, and fooling around stark naked in a glass wall-enclosed living room encircled by views of surrounding skyscrapers.
Most of Petipa's original steps have devolved into dramatic posing and lots of arm-flapping, though the pantomime is crystal-clear: "No fooling around without a wedding ring," Odette gestures to love-struck Siegfried.
At the start of summer we were fooling around sexually and we both enjoyed it.
Fortunately there won't be a nationwide billboard campaign as the pair were fooling around in a spoof for Corden's Late Late Show in the US.
London, Dec 21 (ANI): Paramedics in the UK have been criticised for posting pictures showing them fooling around on Facebook.
The craze began last April at the Europa Cafe Bar, in Castle Street, when a group friends were DJing and started fooling around with album covers, taking photos of themselves with the sleeves strategically held in front of their faces.
Sub-officer Dave Percival, of Blyth fire station, said: "There were some youngsters fooling around in that area and he had climbed up on a roof around five metres high.
FUNNYMAN Sir Norman Wisdom paid tribute to British eccentricity, by fooling around with a group of oddballs at the British Eccentric 2001 award.
FUNNYMAN Sir Norman Wisdom (right) paid tribute to British eccentricity by fooling around with a group of oddballs at the British Eccentric 2001 award.
Women have probably been fooling around with each other since they lived in caves, since they told their tribespeople, "Hey, Doris and I have to go finish that painting in the cave." But for most of history, they just did the fooling around without calling it anything.
A young workman fooling around at a Staffordshire pallet-making company fired a nail into a workmate's chest from a high-powered pneumatic air gun, a court was told yesterday.