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Foolhardiness   Listen
Foolhardiness

noun
1.
The trait of giving little thought to danger.  Synonyms: rashness, recklessness.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Foolhardiness" Quotes from Famous Books



... dangers of the sport should always be present. To take unnecessary risks, such as swimming alone far beyond reach of help or jumping and diving from high places into water of uncertain depth is not bravery; it is simply foolhardiness. A good swimmer is a careful swimmer always. The beginner must first of all try to overcome his natural fear of the water. This is much harder to do than to learn the simple motions of hands or feet that makes ...
— Outdoor Sports and Games • Claude H. Miller

... contempt of the law. Wade forced his way into the jail and released his foreman at the point of a gun. Even so, I feel sorry for Wade and I am a little apprehensive of the consequences that will probably develop from his foolhardiness." ...
— Hidden Gold • Wilder Anthony

... in the mill." The miller was watching the young mountaineer closely. The manner of the girl was significant when she asked who Rome was, and the miller knew but one reason possible for his foolhardiness ...
— A Cumberland Vendetta • John Fox, Jr.

... the hole in the wall,—you know; take care of it when you come in. You were out late last night, my poor fellow. Very wrong! Look well to yourself, or who knows? You may be clutched by that blackguard resurrection-man, No. 7. Well, well, to think of that Jason's foolhardiness! But he's the worse devil of the two. Eh! what was I saying? And always give a look into my room every night before you go to roost. The place swarms with cracksmen, and one can't be too cautious. Lucky dog, you, to have nothing to be ...
— Lucretia, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... a set and serious look as he approached the frenzied beast. There was danger in this trick—a broken leg or collar bone might make his foolhardiness costly. In his mind's eye he could foresee the broncho's action. He had escaped down the track once, and would do the same again after a few desperate bounds—nevertheless Mose dreaded the terrible concussion of those ...
— The Eagle's Heart • Hamlin Garland

... her foolhardiness in going into her father's room. He had been the family physician ever since she was born, knew her well; and took the privilege of scolding when he liked. Starr meekly succumbed. There was just ...
— Lo, Michael! • Grace Livingston Hill

... I would go with my mother; and of course they all cried out at our foolhardiness; but even then not a man would go along with us. All they would do was to give me a loaded pistol, lest we were attacked; and to promise to have horses ready saddled, in case we were pursued on our return; while one lad was to ride forward to the doctor's in ...
— Treasure Island • Robert Louis Stevenson

... ballads of his country, coveted a small matter compared to what Richard Greenville accomplished. I wonder how many people have been inspired by this mad story, and how many battles have been actually won for England in the spirit thus engendered. It is only with a measure of habitual foolhardiness that you can be sure, in the common run of men, of courage on a reasonable occasion. An army or a fleet, if it is not led by quixotic fancies, will not be led far by terror of the Provost Marshal. Even German warfare, in addition ...
— Virginibus Puerisque • Robert Louis Stevenson

... whom he married for her wealth. It was not wonderful, therefore, if the noble baron possessed the qualities of five distinct races. Thus he had something of the voluptuousness of the Turk, the ostentation of the Hindu, the flightiness of the Pole, the foolhardiness of the Hungarian, and ...
— The Poor Plutocrats • Maurus Jokai

... favors, you ought to be forced to come and ask for them.—He who pays never knows what he owes. The fermier is sovereign legislator in matters relating to his personal interest. Every petition, in which the interests of a province, or those of the whole nation are concerned, is regarded as penal foolhardiness if it is signed by a person in his private capacity, and as illicit association if it be ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 1 (of 6) - The Ancient Regime • Hippolyte A. Taine

... a serious lecture from the vicar, who pointed out to him the difference between real courage and foolhardiness; but the lesson did not strike very deep, and soon he was his wayward self again, his sister Conny being too near his own age to have any authority over him, while his father was too much of a student and dreamer to exercise any judicious control in restraining ...
— Teddy - The Story of a Little Pickle • J. C. Hutcheson

... sipping being nothing less potent than a brew of whisky punch, which he had ordered (or rather requested Bunker to order) as the most romantically national compound he could think of, produced, indeed, a fervor of foolhardiness. He insisted upon opening the door wide, and getting Bunker to address him as "Tollyvoddle," in a strident voice, "so zat zey all may hear," and then answering in a firm "Yes, Count Bonker, vat vould you ...
— Count Bunker • J. Storer Clouston

... own age, and the like; but the space at my disposal obliges me to conclude. Very little of the heroic enters the sailor's life. The risks he runs, the adventures he encounters, have, as a rule, nothing of the romantic in them; they are mainly brought about by his own foolhardiness, by the proverbial carelessness that is utterly irreconcilable with the stern obligations of vigilance, alertness, and foresight imposed upon him by the nature of his calling, by the imbecility of ...
— The Honour of the Flag • W. Clark Russell

... were true only according to circumstances, not absolutely. When two fleets of equal worth are facing one another, as in the War of the American Revolution, then tactics should come into play, and audacity would often be mere foolhardiness. If it happens, on the other hand, as in the Republic, or during the last years of Louis XV, that an irresolute fleet, without organization, has to contend with a fleet prepared in every way, then, on the part of this last, audacity is wisdom and prudence ...
— The Naval War of 1812 • Theodore Roosevelt

... a prosperous voyage; but if, like me, the gale drive him into the harbour of Hades, let him blame not the inhospitable sea-gulf, but his own foolhardiness that loosed ...
— Select Epigrams from the Greek Anthology • J. W. Mackail

... victories for our troops in every instance; until, finally, the flag of the United States floated triumphantly over the city of Mexico. It was not this country, but Mexico, which was the aggressor, and it was her foolhardiness and outrageous insult which brought about the war. There is not a power in Europe which would not have done precisely as this country did when thus attacked. The author knows very well that it is the fashion to berate our government for the punishment it inflicted ...
— Aztec Land • Maturin M. Ballou

... intelligence of a high order. Wissmann called the Ba Luba "a nation of thinkers." Bateman found them "thoroughly and unimpeachably honest, brave to foolhardiness, and faithful to each other and to their superiors." One of their kings, Calemba, "a really princely prince," Bateman says would "amongst any people be a remarkable and indeed in many ...
— The Negro • W.E.B. Du Bois

... and helpless at his feet, Evan cooled down. He rapidly considered what he must do next. He had no means of knowing how well the old house might be barricaded, and it would be the height of foolhardiness to attempt to storm it single-handed. On the other hand, if he took the time to go for the police, the chief of the gang, warned of danger by Charley's non-arrival, might make his getaway. Perhaps he could commandeer an automobile. Late as it was, an occasional car still ...
— The Deaves Affair • Hulbert Footner

... I made a short discourse. Think of it, preaching once more in the Catacombs, surrounded with the tombs where the martyrs are laid and where the voice of the martyrs had spoken! You can imagine that the impression was profound and solemn on us all. It was a piece of foolhardiness on my part to open my lips and speak, when everything around us spoke so impressively and solemnly to our heads. I will attempt to interpret this speech: In the days of Agnes, Christians were called upon to resist and conquer physical ...
— Life of Father Hecker • Walter Elliott

... you here for? You don't want to be seen with me," I protested, grateful and alarmed for his foolhardiness in coming ...
— Lords of the North • A. C. Laut

... pray?" inquired Mrs. Tompkins, recklessly, the next instant regretting her foolhardiness, and before the eyes of the men, one of whom she had a passion for; the other who had a passion for herself, that she had outlived; and now with quick resolve and latent meaning, knowing the intruder's love for coins, continued: "Even did the Sultan of Turkey fancy me to adorn his harem, ...
— A Heart-Song of To-day • Annie Gregg Savigny

... life and happiness or that of the innocent girl he is deceiving; with never a heed of the ill-starred, diseased, puny or idiotic progeny his act may bring into being, a burden to the community, a curse to himself and a constant reminder of the parent's foolhardiness—ay, even crime! ...
— Manhood Perfectly Restored • Unknown

... Commissioners seeing that this vessel was built for the most part of old materials, totally unseaworthy, are of opinion that she ought not to have sailed at all; and severely censure the commander, J. R, for foolhardiness and obstinacy, he having, as it has been proved, acted in entire opposition to 'his owners.' On the pressing recommendation, however, of the owners, and at the representation that E. has been long in the service, and is, although ...
— Cornelius O'Dowd Upon Men And Women And Other Things In General - Originally Published In Blackwood's Magazine - 1864 • Charles Lever

... for you to go and get trapped too? It's different with you. They've got it in for you down there. It's just foolhardiness for you to go back," she ...
— Steve Yeager • William MacLeod Raine

... calm enough. True, there was the little breeze that Marjory had spoken of; but if it didn't come to any more, he might pull through all right. Thus once again was illustrated the truth of the old saying that "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread." How many lives are lost through ignorance and foolhardiness! ...
— Hunter's Marjory - A Story for Girls • Margaret Bruce Clarke

... looked upon as a sacred quarrel. As to their courage, there was no occasion to quicken that, for they were as fearless as lions, and the only danger was lest their fiery daring should lead them into foolhardiness. Their desire was to hurl themselves upon the enemy like a horde of Moslem fanatics, and it was no easy matter to drill such hot-headed fellows into the steadiness and caution ...
— Micah Clarke - His Statement as made to his three Grandchildren Joseph, - Gervas and Reuben During the Hard Winter of 1734 • Arthur Conan Doyle

... made the thing a thousandfold more awful. I had a black fright on me at that whole company of merciless men, and especially at Ringan, whose word was law to them. Now the worst effect of fear is that it obscures good judgment, and makes a man in desperation do deeds of a foolhardiness from which at other times he would shrink. All I remembered in that moment was that I had to reach Ringan, and that Mercer had told me that the safest plan was to show a bold front. I never remembered that I had also been bidden to follow Shalah, nor did I reflect that a secret ...
— Salute to Adventurers • John Buchan

... harm a friend, Pathfinder, I'm certain; and that's my security. You're a man of judgment, and have gained too great a name on this frontier for bravery to feel the necessity of foolhardiness to obtain a character. You'll very well understand, my good friend, there is as much credit to be gained by submitting gracefully, when resistance becomes impossible, as by obstinately holding out contrary to the rules of war. The enemy is too strong for us, my brave comrade, and ...
— The Pathfinder - The Inland Sea • James Fenimore Cooper

... The downright foolhardiness of the Douglas wrath held Tom's hand,—though of a truth that hand trembled and crept backward. Nor was Aleck Douglas nearsighted; he saw the movement and his bearded underlip met his shaven ...
— Rim o' the World • B. M. Bower

... British officer a very brave man, though I do think he sometimes is guilty of excess in that respect—that is to say, that he goes impractically to work, and, the young officer especially, is driven by ambition to do desperate and stupid things. To this foolhardiness may be largely attributed the heavy losses in officers suffered by the British Army in ...
— My Reminiscences of the Anglo-Boer War • Ben Viljoen

... a lot of sullen hate brewing against you. Don't invite an explosion. That would be just kid foolhardiness." ...
— The Yukon Trail - A Tale of the North • William MacLeod Raine

... the selfish runner, who travels light, may well be a serious burden to others and risk their safety and comfort through his own foolhardiness. ...
— Ski-running • Katharine Symonds Furse

... although Giampolo Baglione had gathered a large number of troops there, and how the latter, overawed by the Pope, surrendered the city to him. His comment is verbatim as follows: "People of judgment who were with the Pope wondered at his foolhardiness, and at Giampolo's cowardice; they could not understand why the latter did not, to his everlasting fame, crush his enemy with one blow and enrich himself with the plunder, for the Pope was accompanied by all his cardinals with their jewels. They could not ...
— Lucretia Borgia - According to Original Documents and Correspondence of Her Day • Ferdinand Gregorovius

... skimmed the ground beneath its feet, as only a horse can fly when, panic-stricken, it ravishes its perishing rider along with it. None, no none, could get anywhere near it; even Martin was left many yards behind in mid-course. The crowd gaped in amazement at the fury of the steed and the foolhardiness of the rider, especially when, in the midst of his mad career, the long chaplet of flowers fell from the youth's head, and was trampled to pieces beneath the hoofs of the other horses panting after him. He himself did not notice the loss of his chaplet till he reached the goal, ...
— A Hungarian Nabob • Maurus Jokai

... in a most canny manner. He was present when Miss Pelham, at the bank, was "taking" a dictation for the Enemy—some matter pertaining to the output of the mines. Lady Deppingham had just been guilty of a most astounding piece of foolhardiness, and he was discussing it with the Enemy. She had forced her horse to leap across a narrow fissure in the volcano the day before. Falling, she would have gone to her ...
— The Man From Brodney's • George Barr McCutcheon

... faith! 'twas on only foolhardiness caused me to grant that devilish prosecutor another sight of my scarlet device. I knew what you maniacs would be after, so I came across in the Daydream,just to see if I couldn't get my share ...
— I Will Repay • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... in Jerusalem, soon thereafter, Isaiah again took up the burden of his argument against Israel and Syria. He predicted the inevitable destruction of these two kingdoms, because they were in rebellion against Assyria, and he pointed out the consequent foolhardiness of involving Judah in the oncoming disaster. Regarding ...
— Stories of the Prophets - (Before the Exile) • Isaac Landman

... unhappy, and was as cross and disagreeable as he could be; so that the other men said they would like to thrash him just once. But when there was a fire he acted like another man, and was so reckless that the captain, mistaking foolhardiness for bravery, handed in his name for promotion, and as his political backing was very strong, he was given the white helmet and became foreman of another engine-house. But he did not seem to enjoy life any the more, and he was most unpopular. The winter passed ...
— Van Bibber and Others • Richard Harding Davis

... within as I did, I found myself behind the blacks, and, without waiting to even calculate their numbers or the foolhardiness of my venture, I charged swiftly across the chamber and fell upon them from the rear ...
— The Gods of Mars • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... history, and no milk-and-water euphemism could have expressed Cambronne's defiance and contempt. Of course John Bull pitilessly shot to death that heroic fragment of the Old Guard, which forgot in its supreme hour that while foolhardiness may be magnificent, it is not war. I would have put a cordon of soldiers about that pathetic remnant of Napoleon's greatness and held it there to this good day rather than have plowed it down as a farmer plows jimson weeds into a pile of compost; ...
— Volume 1 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... trenches in the darkness, hoping to take the enemy by surprise, it was as daring a conception considering the ground and the circumstances as ever came to the mind of a British commander and might be said to be characteristic of the dash and so-called "foolhardiness" of the British soldier, accustomed to "looking smart" and rushing his enemy from colonial experiences. Nelson had the "spirit that quickeneth" when he turned his blind eye to the enemy. The French, too, are for ...
— My Second Year of the War • Frederick Palmer

... is what you told me. ... Nay, you may call me coward if you will; but if that little man there upon the stage is not frightened, I never saw any man frightened in my life. Ay, ay: go along with you: Ay, to be sure! Who's fool then? Will you? Lud have mercy upon such foolhardiness!—Whatever happens, it is good enough for you.—Follow you? I'd follow the devil as soon. Nay, perhaps it is the devil—for they say he can put on what likeness he pleases.—Oh! here he is again.—No farther! No, you have gone far enough ...
— Public Speaking • Irvah Lester Winter

... individual boldness in action may easily become a fault. Still, at the same time, it is a fine failing, and must not be looked at in the same light as any other. Happy the Army in which an untimely boldness frequently manifests itself; it is an exuberant growth which shows a rich soil. Even foolhardiness, that is boldness without an object, is not to be despised; in point of fact it is the same energy of feeling, only exercised as a kind of passion without any co-operation of the intelligent faculties. It is ...
— On War • Carl von Clausewitz

... keep the new year up they run away! [He soliloquizes as he begins tearing open the dispatches.] Nor Pitt nor Fox displayed such blundering As glares in this campaign! It is, indeed, Enlarging Folly to Foolhardiness To combat France by land! But how expect Aught that can claim the name of government From Canning, Castlereagh, and Perceval, Caballers all—poor sorry politicians— To whom has fallen the luck of reaping in The ...
— The Dynasts - An Epic-Drama Of The War With Napoleon, In Three Parts, - Nineteen Acts, And One Hundred And Thirty Scenes • Thomas Hardy

... commentators are very hard on Peter for his boldness and seeming foolhardiness here. But I am frank to say that I like Peter here very much. I suppose most of the critics would have sat very still in the boat. I shouldn't wonder if they would not have put a restraining hand upon Peter. In fact, ...
— Sermons on Biblical Characters • Clovis G. Chappell

... pursuits. I am very glad you should have them, and be an intelligent lad; but they must not be taken up exclusively, so as to drive out all heed to anything else. Remember, there is a great difference between courage and foolhardiness, and that you are especially warned to be careful if your venturesomeness endangers other ...
— The Long Vacation • Charlotte M. Yonge

... the exercise of tact the number of men quartered in one's house might be reduced; and why should one provoke the hostility of a person on whom one's whole welfare depended? Such conduct would savor less of bravery than of fool-hardiness. And foolhardiness is no longer a failing of the citizens of Rouen as it was in the days when their city earned renown by its heroic defenses. Last of all-final argument based on the national politeness—the folk of Rouen said to one another ...
— Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete • Guy de Maupassant

... the most reckless foolhardiness to go on a fathom further, but the first lieutenant seemed to know the bottom as though it were a peaceful lane in a New England countryside, and after the Union, the Coast Guard cutter crept warily. Even the boatswain muttered ...
— The Boy With the U. S. Life-Savers • Francis Rolt-Wheeler

... man, Vatel, son of the regiment, corporal of voltigeurs, gay as a lark, rather free and easy with the fair sex, brave to foolhardiness, was capable of shooting a comrade with a laugh if ordered to execute him. With no future before him and not knowing how to employ himself, the prospect of finding an amusing little war in the functions of keeper, attracted him; and as the grand army and the Emperor had ...
— Sons of the Soil • Honore de Balzac

... stop, or would he run desperately across, as he had dashed through the flood? That was with him. His hand was on the lever, and we were helpless; but, if there was time, it would be mere foolhardiness to go upon the trestle at any but the slowest speed, and without giving all but one an opportunity to walk across. One, surely, was enough to go down with the engine, ...
— Aladdin & Co. - A Romance of Yankee Magic • Herbert Quick

... &c adj.; temerity, want of caution, imprudence, indiscretion; overconfidence, presumption, audacity. precipitancy, precipitation; impetuosity; levity; foolhardihood^, foolhardiness; heedlessness, thoughtlessness &c (inattention) 458; carelessness &c (neglect) 460; desperation; Quixotism, knight-errantry; fire eating. gaming, gambling; blind bargain, leap in the dark, leap of faith, fool's paradise; too many eggs in one basket. desperado, rashling^, madcap, daredevil, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... exhibits remarkable timidity of character. A bird perching on its back alarms it; hence, the greater part of the accidents which happen in the course of its capture, must be attributed to adventitious circumstances on the part of the whale, or to mismanagement or foolhardiness on the part ...
— Thrilling Narratives of Mutiny, Murder and Piracy • Anonymous

... street. "Here you have kept me with my mouth stopped all through this queer confab. I want a little light on this subject. What the deuce ails Heath, that he won't lift his voice to defend himself? And what the mischief do you let him throw away his best chances for? I never heard of such foolhardiness." ...
— The Diamond Coterie • Lawrence L. Lynch

... be foolhardiness to remain here for the enemy's superior force to attack us," said a third. "To struggle against such odds is folly, and prudent men submit to the decrees of fortune, instead of resisting them in a ...
— Napoleon and the Queen of Prussia • L. Muhlbach

... said I would go with my mother, and of course they all cried out at our foolhardiness, but even then not a man would go along with us. All they would do was to give me a loaded pistol lest we were attacked, and to promise to have horses ready saddled in case we were pursued on our return, while one lad was to ride forward to ...
— Treasure Island • Robert Louis Stevenson

... the officers who were to have the charge of the boats. He would not trust any of the midshipmen on so dangerous a service. He said that he had known so many occasions in which their rashness and foolhardiness had spoilt an expedition; he therefore appointed Mr Phillott, the first lieutenant, to the launch; O'Brien to the yawl; the master to the first, and Mr Chucks, the boatswain, to the second cutter. Mr Chucks was much ...
— Peter Simple and The Three Cutters, Vol. 1-2 • Frederick Marryat

... them for lunch in the tent they remembered so well, and professed to be shocked at the report of his sister's foolhardiness. But whatever may have been Natalie's fear of ridicule, it promptly disappeared under his complete indorsement of her wisdom in refraining from such a mad adventure. As if to put her even more at ease, O'Neil was especially attentive to her; and Eliza reflected gloomily that men, after ...
— The Iron Trail • Rex Beach

... cleverly did he pass himself off as a bitter enemy of capital that he was entrusted with secrets of the utmost value and took part in making the plans and procuring the dynamite to execute them. The quality of his nerve (as well as his foolhardiness) is shown by the fact that he once carried a dress-suit case full of the explosive around the city, jumping on and off street cars, and dodging vehicles. When the proper moment came and the dynamite had been placed in an uncompleted building on Twenty-second Street, Guthrie gave the signal and ...
— Courts and Criminals • Arthur Train

... and defect, each of which is a vice. Thus an excess of wisdom becomes shrewdness and cunning and deceit; while a defect means ignorance. The true wisdom consists in the middle way between the two extremes. Similarly courage is a mean between foolhardiness and rashness on the side of excess, and cowardice on the side of defect. Temperance is a mean between excessive indulgence of the appetites on one side and utter insensibility on the other. The mean of justice is the result of the harmonious combination of the means ...
— A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy • Isaac Husik

... and of the majority of the legislatures of the States, became necessary to enfranchise the negro, in all his ignorance. In this work, I shall not discuss the question of how far the policy of Congress in this particular proved a wise one. It became an absolute necessity, however, because of the foolhardiness of the President and the blindness of the Southern people to their own interest. As to myself, while strongly favoring the course that would be the least humiliating to the people who had been in rebellion, I gradually worked up ...
— Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete • U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

... of Todmorden, and drawing near the dangerous defile before mentioned, some misgivings crossed him, and he almost reproached himself with foolhardiness in venturing within it at such an hour, and wholly unattended. Several recent cases of robbery, some of them attended by murder, had occurred within the pass; and these now occurred so forcibly to the squire, that he ...
— The Lancashire Witches - A Romance of Pendle Forest • William Harrison Ainsworth

... criticism. It seems to me like telling people that they must not ascend mountains unless they are accompanied by guides, and have studied the history of previous ascents. "Yes," the professional says, "that is just what I mean; it is mere foolhardiness to attempt these arduous places unless you know exactly ...
— At Large • Arthur Christopher Benson

... other things in store for me. I never saw such wild animals! They came at me like so many fiends, and after trying in vain to quiet them, and I may say I have some skill with wild beasts, I thought discretion the better part of foolhardiness, and—made for the fence!" ...
— The Boy Ranchers Among the Indians - or, Trailing the Yaquis • Willard F. Baker



Words linked to "Foolhardiness" :   desperation, foolhardy, unthoughtfulness, rashness, adventurism, recklessness, brashness, thoughtlessness



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