cretin

noun
cre·tin | \ˈkrē-tᵊn \

Definition of cretin 

1 often offensive : one afflicted with cretinism

2 informal : a stupid, vulgar, or insensitive person : clod, lout … they started doing stupid boy stuff, like trying to untie our straps and pour sand down our bathing suits. Really, guys were such cretins sometimes.— Marilyn Reynolds

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cretin

cretinous \ˈkrē-tᵊn-əs \ adjective

Did You Know?

Chronic iodine deficiencies in diet can result in malfunctions of the thyroid gland, the gland that produces hormones necessary for normal human development. Some mountainous regions, such as parts of the Alps, do not naturally provide their inhabitants with a diet rich enough in iodine, and the resultant hypothyroidism causes stunted growth and mental retardation. In Franco-Provençal (the Romance speech of French Switzerland and adjacent areas of France), a person affected by hypothyroidism was called a cretin, literally, “wretch, innocent victim,” The word meant simply “Christian” and emphasized the hypothyroid victim's basic humanity.

Examples of cretin in a Sentence

a cretin who's constantly forwarding e-mails filled with racist and sexist jokes in discussions anyone who disagrees with her is inevitably called a cretin

Recent Examples on the Web

Sticking it to uppity black millionaires has been good for business since the first cretin came up with the lie that the first black president wasn't born in this country, and well before that even. Robert Klemko, SI.com, "Don't Be Fooled: President Trump Is Using NFL as Distraction for Bigger Issues Surrounding White House," 5 June 2018 Anyone who saw pictures of that kid lying on the pavement with all the bullet wounds and did not feel a tinge of empathy is a cretin. Alan Feuer, New York Times, "A Murder, a Conviction and a Never-Ending Case," 21 Feb. 2018 Embodied by a deadpanning Brade Bradshaw, the teacher warns us not to expect much from the night’s show, while simultaneously making clear that the kids are cretins and monsters. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "One duo shines amid Rep Lab experiments," 16 Feb. 2018 Compared to working for that little cretin Snyder, the Bengals are positively aspirational. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Doc: Reds remain a gigantic what if," 14 Dec. 2017 Yes, there are nooses hanging all over America, and some little cretins decided to use one, unfortunately. Angela Helm, The Root, "New Hampshire Police Refuse to Release Information in Case of 8-Year-Old Biracial Boy Who Was Nearly Lynched," 10 Sep. 2017 But while the New Yorker focused its ire on the execrable Gateway Pundit, that particular cretin hasn’t been given a single question. Seth Stevenson, Slate Magazine, "The Daily Show," 10 Apr. 2017 Do not let cretins get away with personal attacks of the Howard Stern kind. Peter King, SI.com, "Ten Things I Think I Think: Relax, Jamal Adams; Marshawn Lynch Knows Better," 23 Oct. 2017 But though Newman albums are often populated by cretins and creeps, those real SOBs are usually imbued with some level of empathy by their creator. Dan Deluca, Philly.com, "Randy Newman: Why this 73-year-old thinks he's put out his best song yet," 21 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cretin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of cretin

1779, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cretin

French crétin, from French dialect cretin, literally, wretch, innocent victim, from Latin christianus Christian

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cretin

Dictionary Entries near cretin

cretic

cretification

cretify

cretin

cretinism

cretinize

cretion

Statistics for cretin

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cretin

The first known use of cretin was in 1779

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cretin

cretin

noun
cre·tin | \ˈkrēt-ᵊn \

Medical Definition of cretin 

often offensive

: one affected with cretinism

Other Words from cretin

cretinous \-ᵊn-əs \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on cretin

What made you want to look up cretin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a state of commotion or excitement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!