fee·​ble·​mind·​ed | \ ˌfē-bəl-ˈmīn-dəd How to pronounce feebleminded (audio) \
variants: or feeble-minded

Definition of feebleminded

1 dated, offensive : impaired in intellectual ability : affected with intellectual disability

Note: This meaning of the word feebleminded, which is associated especially with eugenics practices of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is no longer used in medical, educational, and regulatory contexts and is considered offensive.

2 : foolish, stupid … sexist stereotypes painting women as too feeble-minded and gullible to be the proper stewards of their own lives.Salon.com … circled by blowhards too feeble-minded to understand their own racism.— Eamon Lynch
3 obsolete : irresolute, vacillating

Examples of feebleminded in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That, Dovey Johnson Roundtree knew, could have immense significance for her client, a feebleminded day laborer accused of one of the most sensational murders of the mid-20th century. Margalit Fox, New York Times, 21 May 2018 While the Queen is patient and nurturing with her addled husband, even making excuses for him when his erratic behavior turns violent, others in Madrid see his feebleminded unpredictability as cause for urgent replacement. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Dec. 2017

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

First Known Use of feebleminded

circa 1525, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of feebleminded was circa 1525

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Cite this Entry

“Feebleminded.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feebleminded. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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