[ kreet-n or, esp. British, kret-n ]
/ ˈkrit n or, esp. British, ˈkrɛt n /


a person suffering from cretinism.
a stupid, obtuse, or mentally defective person.


Origin of cretin

1770–80; < French; Franco-Provençal creitin, crestin human being, literally, Christian (hence one who is human despite deformities)

Related forms

cre·ti·noid, adjectivecre·tin·ous, adjectivesem·i·cre·tin, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cretin

British Dictionary definitions for cretin


/ (ˈkrɛtɪn) /


old-fashioned a person afflicted with cretinism
offensive a person considered to be extremely stupid

Derived Forms

cretinoid, adjectivecretinous, adjective

Word Origin for cretin

C18: from French crétin, from Swiss French crestin, from Latin Chrīstiānus Christian, alluding to the humanity of such people, despite their handicaps
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

Medicine definitions for cretin


[ krētn ]


A person afflicted with cretinism.

Related forms

cretin•oid′ (-oid′) adj.cretin•ous (-əs) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.