n. pl. bêtises (-tēz)
1. Stupidity; folly: "The bêtise of our human community is everywhere" (Thornton Wilder).
2. A stupid or foolish act or remark.
[French, from bête, beast, fool, foolish, from Old French beste, beast; see BEAST.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.