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dunce cap

or dunce's cap

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a tall, cone-shaped hat formerly worn by slow or lazy students as a punishment in school.

Origin of dunce cap

First recorded in 1830–40
Also called fool's cap.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dunce cap

Historical Examples

  • I do not think the plan was very successful, for the pockmarked youngster was often adorned with the dunce-cap.

    Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 1 of 14

    Elbert Hubbard

  • He sat in school with a dunce-cap upon his head, or else played hookey and spent his hours in fishing, swimming or idling.

    The New Education

    Scott Nearing

  • Although no dunce-cap was on his head, a roomful of staring eyes struck a burning shame into his soul.

    A Japanese Boy

    Shigemi Shiukichi


British Dictionary definitions for dunce cap

dunce cap

dunce's cap

noun
  1. a conical paper hat, formerly placed on the head of a dull child at school
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012