[ nin-kuh m-poop, ning- ]
/ ˈnɪn kəmˌpup, ˈnɪŋ- /


a fool or simpleton.

Origin of nincompoop

First recorded in 1670–80; origin uncertain
Related formsnin·com·poop·er·y, nounnin·com·poop·ish, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nincompoop

British Dictionary definitions for nincompoop


/ (ˈnɪnkəmˌpuːp, ˈnɪŋ-) /


a stupid person; fool; idiot

Word Origin for nincompoop

C17: of unknown origin
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 nincompoop



1670s, nicompoop. Despite similarity [noted by Johnson] to Latin legal phrase non compos mentis "insane, mentally incompetent" (c.1600), the connection is denied by etymologists because the earliest forms lack the second -n-. Weekley thinks first element may be a proper name, and cites Nicodemus, which he says was used in French for "a fool," or Nicholas. Klein says probably an invented word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper