gormless

play
adjective gorm·less \ˈgȯrm-ləs\

Definition of gormless

chiefly British

  1. :  lacking intelligence :  stupid

gormlessness

noun chiefly British

Examples of gormless in a sentence

  1. <a comedy show that invariably portrays the British aristocracy as a bunch of gormless twits>

Did You Know?

Gormless began life as the English dialect word gaumless, which was altered to the modern spelling when it expanded into wider use in the late 19th century. The origins of gaumless are easy to understand; the word derives from a combination of the dialect noun gaum, meaning "attention" or "understanding," and the suffix -less. Gaum also functions as a verb in some dialects, where it means "to pay attention to" and "to understand." An unrelated verb gaum means "to behave in a stupid or awkward manner." There's also a noun gaum, meaning "a stupid doltish person." But none of these are as commonly used nowadays as gormless, which itself is most frequently seen in British English.

Origin and Etymology of gormless

alteration of English dialect gaumless, from gaum attention, understanding (from Middle English gome, from Old Norse gaum, gaumr) + -less


First Known Use: 1883


GORMLESS Defined for English Language Learners

gormless

play
adjective gorm·less \ˈgȯrm-ləs\

Definition of gormless for English Language Learners

  • : very stupid or foolish


Learn More about gormless


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a harsh rebuke

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • hot-dog--hot-dog--hot-dog--hot-dog-cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ