idiot

[ id-ee-uht ]
/ ˈɪd i ət /

noun

Informal. an utterly foolish or senseless person: If you think you can wear that outfit to a job interview and get hired, you're an idiot!
Psychology. (no longer in technical use; considered offensive) a person of the lowest order in a former and discarded classification of mental retardation, having a mental age of less than three years old and an intelligence quotient under 25.

Origin of idiot

1250–1300; Middle English < Latin idiōta < Greek idiṓtēs private person, layman, person lacking skill or expertise, equivalent to idiō- (lengthened variant of idio- idio-, perhaps by analogy with stratiōtēs professional soldier, derivative of stratiá army) + -tēs agent noun suffix
Related formsid·i·ot·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for idiot

idiot

/ (ˈɪdɪət) /

noun

a person with severe mental retardation
a foolish or senseless person

Word Origin for idiot

C13: from Latin idiōta ignorant person, from Greek idiōtēs private person, one who lacks professional knowledge, ignoramus; see idio-
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

Word Origin and History for idiot

idiot


n.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for idiot

idiot

[ ĭdē-ət ]

n.

A person of profound mental retardation having a mental age below three years and generally being unable to learn connected speech or guard against common dangers. The term belongs to a classification system no longer in use and is now considered offensive.
Related formsidi•ot′ic (-ŏtĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.