play the fool

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play the fool

To behave comically or playfully, often to amuse others. Joe never plays the fool—he's always serious. If you continue to play the fool, you're going to have to leave the classroom.
See also: fool, play

play the fool

Fig. to act in a silly manner in order to amuse other people. The teacher told Tom to stop playing the fool and sit down. Fred likes playing the fool, but we didn't find him funny last night.
See also: fool, play

play the fool

Act in a silly or stupid way, as in Helen deliberately played the fool so they wouldn't realize she understood their strategy. [First half of 1500s]
See also: fool, play

act/play the ˈfool

behave in a stupid way to make people laugh, especially in a way that may also annoy them: It’s impossible to have a decent game of tennis with Frank — he acts the fool the whole time.If you played the fool in class a little less and worked a bit harder, you could do quite well.
In the past, a fool was a man employed by a king or queen to entertain people by telling jokes, singing songs, etc.
See also: act, fool, play
References in periodicals archive ?
He sobbed on the football field, let his team-mates down, got blind drunk, played the fool and we loved him.
Yet the classic signs of self-loathing were there for all to see - when Gazza played the fool it was only because he didn't think anyone would love the real-life Paul.
He toured Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong with A Midsummer Night's Dream, played the Fool to Robert Stephens' King Lear, has appeared in numerous productions and plays Autolycus in the latest production of The Winter's Tale.
He's played the fool, he's played the family man and he's even been in the family way.
Harry, 79, born in Swansea, played the fool alongside dozens of civilian actors to amuse battle weary troops during World War Two.