foolhardy vs rash what difference

what is difference between foolhardy and rash



From Middle English folehardy, foolhardi, folherdi, from Old French fol hardi (foolishly bold), from Old French fol (foolish, silly; insane, mad) (from Latin follis (bellows; purse, sack; inflated ball; belly, paunch), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *bʰelǵʰ- (to swell)) + Old French hardi (durable, hardy, tough) (past tense of hardir (to harden), from the unattested Frankish *hartjan, from Proto-Germanic *harduz (hard; brave)), equivalent to fool +‎ hardy. Compare fool-bold, fool-large, etc.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈfuːlhɑːdi/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˈfulˌhɑɹdi/
  • Hyphenation: fool‧har‧dy


foolhardy (comparative foolhardier or more foolhardy, superlative foolhardiest or most foolhardy)

  1. Marked by unthinking recklessness with disregard for danger; boldly rash; hotheaded.


  • bold
  • daring
  • foolish
  • irresponsible
  • rash
  • reckless

Derived terms

  • foolhardice (obsolete)
  • foolhardihood (obsolete)
  • foolhardily
  • foolhardiness


Middle English



  1. Alternative form of folehardy



  • IPA(key): /ɹæʃ/
  • Rhymes: -æʃ

Etymology 1

From Middle English rash, rasch (hasty, headstrong), from Old English *ræsc (“rash”; found in derivatives: ræscan (to move rapidly, flicker, flash, quiver, glitter), ræscettan (to crackle, sparkle), etc.), from Proto-Germanic *raskaz, *raskuz, *raþskaz, *raþskuz (rash, rapid), from Proto-Indo-European *ret- (to run, roll). Cognate with Dutch rasch, ras (rash, snell), Middle Low German rasch (rash), German rasch (rash, swift), Swedish rask (brisk, quick, rash), Icelandic röskur (strong, vigorous).


rash (comparative rasher, superlative rashest)

  1. Acting too quickly without considering the risks and consequences; not careful; hasty.
  2. So dry as to fall out of the ear with handling, as corn.
  3. (obsolete) Requiring sudden action; pressing; urgent.
  4. (obsolete) Fast-acting.
  • brash
  • heady
  • hotheaded
  • impulsive
  • inconsiderate
  • precipitate
Derived terms
  • rashness
See also
  • prudent
  • reckless

Etymology 2

Likely from Old French rasche (rash, scurf), from Vulgar Latin root *rāsicāre (to scrape), from Latin rāsus (scraped, scratched), from Latin rādō (I scratch, scrape). More at raze/rase.


rash (plural rashes)

  1. (medicine) An area of reddened, irritated, and inflamed skin.
  2. A surge in problems; a spate, string or trend.
  • (a surge in problems): epidemic
Derived terms


rash (third-person singular simple present rashes, present participle rashing, simple past and past participle rashed)

  1. (obsolete) To prepare with haste.
    • be you contented with this present answer rashed up in haste

Etymology 3

Compare French ras (short-nap cloth), Italian and Spanish raso, satin, or Italian rascia (serge), German Rasch, probably from Arras in France.


rash (uncountable)

  1. An inferior kind of silk, or mixture of silk and worsted.

Etymology 4

For arace


rash (third-person singular simple present rashes, present participle rashing, simple past and past participle rashed)

  1. (obsolete) To pull off or pluck violently.
  2. (obsolete) To slash; to hack; to slice.

Further reading

  • rash in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • rash in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
  • “rash”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.


  • AHRS, SHRA, Sahr, hars, rahs

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