Definition of idiot
1 dated, now offensive : a person affected with extreme mental retardation
2 : a foolish or stupid person
Examples of idiot in a Sentence
Don't be such an idiot!
only an idiot would invest in a company just because a casual acquaintance recommended it
Recent Examples of idiot from the Web
An idiot that does not even acknowledge climate problems is not capable to steer the country.
Excellent gift your for liberal idiot family and friends.
There are no drunks or hecklers in the audience, no gadflies or village idiots lurking at the back of the room, as there are at real town-hall meetings.
The man Mr. Wasko was calling an idiot — perhaps seriously, or playfully, or both — was his friend Vincent Archangelo Strines.
Now, the next step is just figuring out a way to ban these words for racist idiots on Twitter.
Complaining about the idiots in corporate or the flakes at PARC was easier.
There's people who are considered intelligent who are idiots.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'idiot'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
The Greek adjective idios means “one’s own” or “private.” The derivative noun idiōtēs means “private person.” A Greek idiōtēs was a person who was not in the public eye, who held no public office. From this came the sense “common man,” and later “ignorant person”—a natural extension, for the common people of ancient Greece were not, in general, particularly learned. The English idiot originally meant “ignorant person,” but the more usual reference now is to a person who lacks basic intelligence or common sense rather than education.
Origin and Etymology of idiot
Middle English, from Anglo-French ydiote, from Latin idiota ignorant person, from Greek idiōtēs one in a private station, layman, ignorant person, from idios one's own, private; akin to Latin suus one's own — more at suicide
First Known Use: 14th century
IDIOT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of idiot for English Language Learners
: a very stupid or foolish person
IDIOT Defined for Kids
Definition of idiot for Students
: a silly or foolish person
Medical Definition of idiot
dated now offensive : a person affected with extreme mental retardation
idiotadjective, dated now offensive
Legal Definition of idiot
: a person with especially a profound intellectual disability
Additional Notes on idiot
While the terms idiot, imbecile, and moron survive in many state codes and statutes, they are generally no longer used in both medical and legal contexts. The modern terminology distinguishes between mild, moderate, severe, and profound levels of disability. Historically persons with intellectual disabilities have been deprived of certain rights (as in not being allowed to vote). Generally today, an adult with an intellectual disability who is his or her own guardian is not deprived of these rights.
Seen and Heard
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