- a person who is feeble-minded.
- a person who is foolish or senseless; dunderhead.
Origin of half-wit
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for halfwit
Was this the man that had played the part of a halfwit so successfully at Bar X ranch?
Trent Burton, the halfwit, and Trent Burton in action, were two different persons.
- a feeble-minded person
- a foolish or inane person
Word Origin and History for halfwit
1670s, originally "a would-be wit whose abilities are mediocre;" sense of "simpleton" (one lacking all his wits) is first attested 1755.
Half-wits are fleas; so little and so light,
We scarce could know they live, but that they bite.
[Dryden, "All for Love"]
Phrase out of half wit "half out of one's mind" was in Middle English (late 14c.). Half-witted "lacking common sense" is from 1640s.