idiot

[id-ee-uht]

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.

Nearby words

  1. idiopathy,
  2. idiophone,
  3. idioplasm,
  4. idiosyncrasy,
  5. idiosyncratic,
  6. idiot board,
  7. idiot box,
  8. idiot card,
  9. idiot savant,
  10. idiot strings

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

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Examples from the Web for idiot


British Dictionary definitions for idiot

idiot

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.