make a fool of(redirected from make an ass of)
make a fool (out) of (someone or oneself)
To do something that makes someone or oneself seem stupid or ridiculous. I'm not going to dance too much at the party because I don't want to make a fool out of myself in front of my coworkers. I know Greg is only trying to impress Lisa, but he's making a fool out of himself by telling so many corny jokes. Don't let him make a fool of you like that—say something back!
make a fool (out) of someoneand 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?
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.