an ignorant, foolish, or silly person.

Origin of simpleton

First recorded in 1640–50; simple + -ton

Synonyms for simpleton Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for simpleton

Contemporary Examples of simpleton

Historical Examples of simpleton

  • Hold your tongue, simpleton; it is not for you to control the decrees of the faculty.

  • You are such a simpleton, my dear, that one can hardly bear with you.

  • If she was not your grandmother, I should say that she was a simpleton.

  • As Camille listened to his friend, he contemplated him with all the astonishment of a simpleton.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

  • He was more than ever sure that Grannie was a simpleton and Csar a brazen hypocrite.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for simpleton



a foolish or ignorant person
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 simpleton

1640s, probably a jocular formation from simple and -ton, suffix extracted from surnames. Cf. skimmington, personification of an ill-used spouse," c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper