Origin of moron
OTHER WORDS FROM moronmo·ron·ic [muh-ron-ik], /məˈrɒn ɪk/, adjectivemo·ron·ism, mo·ron·i·ty [muh-ron-i-tee], /məˈrɒn ɪ ti/, noun
Words nearby moron
Other definitions for moron (2 of 2)
ABOUT THIS WORD
More context on moron
Calling someone a moron is all in good fun, right? Not so much. While moron can sound like a simple schoolyard taunt, the term was originally used by psychologists to classify someone as having mild intellectual disabilities. What’s more, prominent psychologists, notably Henry H. Goddard, who used the label moron promoted eugenics.
Moron is no longer in use as a medical term, and it’s offensive and ableist to equate someone you think is acting foolish to a person with a disability.
If knowing the history of moron has got you reflecting on your word choices, this slideshow, “These Common Words Have Offensive Histories,” discusses many other words whose place in your vocab you may want to reconsider.
Keep in mind …
Like moron, the words idiot, imbecile, and feeble-minded were also once used in psychology to label people with intellectual disabilities or mental deficiencies.
Now, we’re not condoning any name-calling, but we’re also not naive—we know it happens! But, we can at least alert to the fact there are plenty of alternatives to moron that don’t come with so much painful baggage:
For more synonyms, find fool on Thesaurus.com.
How to use moron in a sentence
Half the people around me are morons, half of them are sex-crazed, and half sold out for status.Ian and the Limits of Rationality - Issue 107: The Edge|Simon DeDeo|September 22, 2021|Nautilus
Now I feel like a total moron and can't believe how badly I screwed up.
The subtext of many smart tech pitches is that you’d be a moron not to buy this.Lessons From the Year in Surveillance Tech Debacles|Jesse Marx|December 28, 2020|Voice of San Diego
A total moron who screws up even with inherited wealth, while blustering through life knowing nothing.My Dad served in WWII — he was a hero, not a loser|Peter Rosenstein|September 10, 2020|Washington Blade
Then leaving ashore the sergeant-major, Juan de Moron, in command, he returned to his ship to have it moored and set in order.The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803|E.H. Blair
Moron val, who looked on, shrugged his shoulders, with a glance at his wife.Jack|Alphonse Daudet
The numerous streams which cross the stony pathway all flow to the south, uniting their waters with the Salado de Moron.
Moron and Bagac on the opposite coast each report more than a hundred.Negritos of Zambales|William Allan Reed
Moron, who was a native of Vaimo, had a small horse which was pretty well trained.The Memoirs of the Conquistador Bernal Diaz del Castillo, Vol 1 (of 2)|Bernal Diaz del Castillo