dunce cap


Definition of dunce cap

: a conical cap formerly used as a punishment for slow learners at school

called also dunce's cap

Examples of dunce cap in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The dunce caps and playground taunts briefly swiped the headlines from the other pressing NASCAR playoff hot topics, such as spoiler tape, encumbered finishes , driver twitter spats and lugnuts. USA TODAY, "Logano forced to watch practice as part of NASCAR punishment," 23 Sep. 2017 But only a fool with a fetish for dunce caps would pick against Bill and Brady in Week 1. Jim Derry, NOLA.com, "NFL Picks Week 1: Saints defy logic, win opener at Minnesota," 4 Sep. 2017

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

First Known Use of dunce cap

1840, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dunce cap

Dictionary Entries near dunce cap

Duncan Phyfe



dunce cap




Statistics for dunce cap

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dunce cap

The first known use of dunce cap was in 1840

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on dunce cap

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dunce cap

Comments on dunce cap

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


excited commotion or publicity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Syn City

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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