folly

folly
/fol"ee/, n., pl. follies for 2-6.
1. the state or quality of being foolish; lack of understanding or sense.
2. a foolish action, practice, idea, etc.; absurdity: the folly of performing without a rehearsal.
3. a costly and foolish undertaking; unwise investment or expenditure.
4. Archit. a whimsical or extravagant structure built to serve as a conversation piece, lend interest to a view, commemorate a person or event, etc.: found esp. in England in the 18th century.
5. follies, a theatrical revue.
6. Obs. wickedness; wantonness.
[1175-1225; ME folie < OF, deriv. of fol, fou foolish, mad. See FOOL1]
Syn. 2. imprudence, rashness, mistake, foolishness, indiscretion, injudiciousness; madness, lunacy.

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In architecture, an eccentric, generally nonfunctional (and often deliberately unfinished) structure erected to enhance a romantic landscape.

Follies were particularly in vogue in England in the 18th and early 19th century. They might resemble medieval towers, ruined castles overgrown with vines, or crumbling Classical temples complete with fallen, eroded columns. In the U.S., the term has been applied to ornate gazebos. It may also be applied to any unusual building that is extravagant or whimsical in style.

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 (from French folie, “foolishness”), also called Eyecatcher, in architecture, a costly, generally nonfunctional building that was erected to enhance a natural landscape. Follies first gained popularity in England, and they were particularly in vogue during the 18th and early 19th centuries, when landscape design was dominated by the tenets of Romanticism (q.v.). Thus, depending on the designer's or owner's tastes, a folly might be constructed to resemble a medieval tower, a ruined castle overgrown with vines, or a crumbling Classical temple complete with fallen, eroded columns.

      During this period in landscape design, much care was taken to emphasize the landscape's pictorial qualities, such that a distinct foreground, middle ground, and background could be perceived; to suit the general design purposes, follies were usually built on a much smaller scale than the buildings they imitated. Though follies were sometimes used as pavilions, they were typically built for visual effect alone, and, with other deliberately wrought effects—such as simulated grottoes and rocky chasms—they were intended to improve or complete the natural setting.

      In the United States, the term folly has also been applied to ornate gazebos (gazebo) or garden pavilions.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Folly — ist der Name von Anne Laure Folly Filmemacherin Geografisches Folly Island Inseln Folly Beach Stadt in den USA Le Folly Berg in Frankreich Filmtitel Dead Man s Folly Mit Folly wird auch eine Gartenstaffage bezeichnet, siehe Folly (Gartenkunst) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Folly — Fol ly, n.; pl. {Follies}. [OE. folie, foli, F. folie, fr. fol, fou, foolish, mad. See {Fool}.] 1. The state of being foolish; want of good sense; levity, weakness, or derangement of mind. [1913 Webster] 2. A foolish act; an inconsiderate or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • folly — (n.) early 13c., mental weakness; unwise conduct (in M.E. including wickedness, lwedness, madness), from O.Fr. folie (12c.) folly, madness, stupidity, from fol (see FOOL (Cf. fool)). Sense of costly structure considered to have shown folly in the …   Etymology dictionary

  • folly — index abortion (fiasco), inexpedience, lunacy Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • folly — [n] nonsense, ridiculous idea absurdity, craziness, daftness, dottiness, dumb thing to do*, dumb trick*, fatuity, foolishness, idiocy, imbecility, impracticality, imprudence, inadvisability, inanity, indiscretion, irrationality, lunacy, madness,… …   New thesaurus

  • folly — ► NOUN (pl. follies) 1) foolishness. 2) a foolish act or idea. 3) an ornamental building with no practical purpose, especially a tower or mock Gothic ruin. ORIGIN Old French folie madness …   English terms dictionary

  • folly — [fäl′ē] n. pl. follies [ME folie < OFr < fol: see FOOL1] 1. a lack of understanding, sense, or rational conduct; foolishness 2. any foolish action or belief 3. any foolish and useless but expensive undertaking 4 …   English World dictionary

  • Folly — In architecture, a folly is a building constructed strictly as a decoration, having none of the usual purposes of housing or sheltering associated with a conventional structure. They originated as decorative accents in parks and estates. Folly is …   Wikipedia

  • folly — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ pure, sheer ▪ ultimate ▪ youthful ▪ human ▪ economic, political …   Collocations dictionary

  • folly — UK [ˈfɒlɪ] / US [ˈfɑlɪ] noun Word forms folly : singular folly plural follies 1) [countable/uncountable] formal a way of thinking or behaving that is stupid and careless, and likely to have bad results The judge described the incident as an act… …   English dictionary

  • folly — fol|ly [ fali ] noun 1. ) count or uncount a way of thinking or behaving that is stupid and careless, and likely to have bad results: The judge described the incident as an act of folly. it is folly to do something: It is absolute folly to go… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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