SKIP TO CONTENT

harebrained

Something that's harebrained is reckless or foolish. Sometimes, harebrained ideas work out just fine — several people have survived trips over Niagara Falls in a barrel, for example.

If you have what you think is a great idea, but someone else calls it a harebrained scheme, it means they think you'd be a fool to try it. For example, your harebrained plan to ride your bike on the highway is bound to get you in trouble. The 16th century harebrained came from the earlier harebrain, "giddy or reckless person," from the common impression of a rabbit or a hare as being nervous and skittish.

Definitions of harebrained
  1. adjective
    very foolish
    harebrained ideas”
    synonyms: insane, mad
    foolish
    devoid of good sense or judgment
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week