noun cre·tin \ ˈkrē-tᵊn \
Updated on: 29 Dec 2017

Definition of cretin

1 often offensive : one afflicted with cretinism
2 : a stupid, vulgar, or insensitive person : clod, lout
  • Let me know if these cretins bother you.


play \ˈkrē-tᵊn-əs\ adjective

Examples of cretin in a Sentence

  1. a cretin who's constantly forwarding e-mails filled with racist and sexist jokes

  2. in discussions anyone who disagrees with her is inevitably called a cretin

Recent Examples of cretin from the Web

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.

Did You Know?

Chronic iodine deficiencies in diet can result in malfunctions of the thyroid gland, thr 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 hyperthyroidism causes dwarfism and severe mental retardation. In Franco-Provençal (the Romance speech of French Switzerland and adjacent areas of France), a person malformed due to hyperthyroidism was called a cretin, literally, “wretch, innocent victim,” The word meant simply “Christian” and emphasized the hyperthyroid victim's basic humanity.

Origin and Etymology of cretin

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

First Known Use: 1779

cretin Synonyms

bastard, beast, bleeder [British], blighter [chiefly British], boor, bounder, bugger, buzzard, cad, chuff, churl, clown, creep, jerk, crud [slang], crumb [slang], cur, dirtbag [slang], dog, fink, heel, hound, joker, louse, lout, pill, rat, rat fink, reptile, rotter, schmuck [slang], scum, scumbag [slang], scuzzball [slang], skunk, sleaze, sleazebag [slang], sleazeball [slang], slime, slimeball [slang], slob, snake, so-and-so, sod [chiefly British], stinkard, stinker, swine, toad, varmint, vermin
brain, genius
Related Words
barbarian, brute, caveman, Neanderthal, savage; loudmouth, vulgarian; lowlife, miscreant, rascal, rogue, roughneck, scab, scamp, scoundrel, villain, wretch; booby, doofus [slang], fool, jackass, nincompoop, ninny, nit [chiefly British], nitwit, nut, schmo (or schmoe) [slang]; airhead, birdbrain, blockhead, dink [slang], dolt, dope, dork [slang], goon, half-wit, idiot, imbecile, moron, turkey; brat, insolent, nuisance, pest, snip; snob, snoot, snot; dweeb [slang], nerd
Near Antonyms
hero, heroine, idol, role model; gentleman, lady; angel, saint

Medical Dictionary


noun cre·tin \ ˈkrēt-ᵊn \

medical Definition of cretin

often offensive
: one affected with cretinism


play \-ᵊn-əs\ adjective

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