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imbecility

[im-buh-sil-i-tee] /ˌɪm bəˈsɪl ɪ ti/
noun, plural imbecilities.
1.
an instance or point of weakness; feebleness; incapability.
2.
stupidity; silliness; absurdity.
3.
an instance of this.
4.
Psychology. (no longer in technical use; considered offensive) the state of being an imbecile.
Origin of imbecility
1525-1535
1525-35; earlier imbecillity < Latin imbēcillitās. See imbecile, -ity
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for imbecility
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Young Lady, who reads Dickens (wiping away the tear of imbecility).

  • His awkwardness is fearful, and gives the impression of imbecility.

    Theaetetus Plato
  • Nothing but imbecility or treachery could have controlled his conduct.

  • We commented adversely upon the imbecility of that telegraphic style.

    Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
  • The only thing that at this distance of time strikes me as miraculous is the extent of my imbecility.

    Lord Jim Joseph Conrad
  • He wants "to put Impotence and imbecility upon us for Simplicity."

  • He would demonstrate their imbecility and his own greatness by his works.

    Art in England

    Dutton Cook
  • Pecksniff should have been retired ten years ago—for imbecility.

    Warrior Gap Charles King
  • May the good Lord be with us, and deliver us from idleness and imbecility; and especially, O!

    The Citizen-Soldier John Beatty
Word Origin and History for imbecility
n.

early 15c., "physical weakness, feebleness (of a body part), impotence," from Middle French imbécillité and directly from Latin imbecillitatem (nominative imbecillitas) "weakness, feebleness," from imbecillus "weak, feeble," traditionally said to mean "unsupported" (quasi sine baculo), from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + baculum "a stick" (see bacillus). "Weakness in mind" (as opposed to body) was a secondary sense in Latin but was not attested in English until 1620s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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19
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