[ id-ee-uh-see ]
See synonyms for: idiocyidiocies on

noun,plural id·i·o·cies.
  1. utterly senseless or foolish behavior; a stupid or foolish act, statement, etc.: All this talk of zombies coming to attack us is pure idiocy.

  2. Psychology. (no longer in technical use; considered offensive) an intellectual disability, previously classified in a now obsolete rubric of developmental disorders as having a mental age of less than three years old and an intelligence quotient under 25.

Origin of idiocy

First recorded in 1520–30; from Medieval Latin idiotia “imbecility,” from Hellenistic Greek idiōteía “uncouthness, ignorance,” Greek “state of being a private person”; see origin at idiot, -cy

Other words for idiocy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use idiocy in a sentence

  • Idiocies multiply in direct proportion to the accumulating legal rigidities.

    Red Tape Is Strangling Good Samaritans | Philip K. Howard | December 27, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • The paralyzing standoff between the two major American parties was dramatized by the idiocies of the debt-ceiling debate.

    We’re Doomed! | Charles R. Morris | August 11, 2011 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • None of this means business needs to love government, or overlook its idiocies and inefficiencies.

  • The expulsion of the princes belongs to the same category of political idiocies with the pacte de famine.

    France and the Republic | William Henry Hurlbert
  • Who has not groaned over the follies and idiocies that cling to us like the doggerel verses that hang about our memories?

    Bunyan | James Anthony Froude
  • He remained in a state of coma while the rest of the committee laughed over the familiar idiocies and debated a verdict.

    In a Little Town | Rupert Hughes
  • On the stage in the room beyond, a fat woman, dressed in green and gauze, was singing faded idiocies.

    The Paliser case | Edgar Saltus
  • And this is the result of half-a-dozen idiocies of Miss Abbott?

British Dictionary definitions for idiocy


/ (ˈɪdɪəsɪ) /

nounplural -cies
  1. (not in technical usage) severe mental retardation

  2. foolishness or senselessness; stupidity

  1. a foolish act or remark

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