id·​i·​ot·​ic ˌi-dē-ˈä-tik How to pronounce idiotic (audio)
variants or less commonly idiotical
: showing complete lack of thought or common sense : foolish
an idiotic question
found his excuses idiotic
dated, now offensive; see usage paragraph below : characterized by extreme intellectual disability
idiotically adverb
smiled idiotically
Usage of Idiotic

The terms idiot, imbecile, moron, and their derivatives, such as idiotic, were formerly used as technical descriptors in medical, educational, and regulatory contexts. These uses were broadly rejected by the close of the 20th century and are now considered offensive.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Too many young people are making idiotic short-term financial decisions that hamper long-term success. Chandler Dean, The New Yorker, 24 Jan. 2023 Beyond the Lungs Two other cardiac cases impressed me — and blew away the idiotic notion that young people are immune to COVID-19. Tony Dajer, Discover Magazine, 30 July 2020 Taking money from the IRS — the agency responsible for collecting the money that funds the government — would be an idiotic move. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, 13 Jan. 2023 Mötley Crüe are by now legendary for their idiotic courtship with violence and the Grim Reaper. Dean Kuipers, SPIN, 8 Jan. 2023 And, most perplexingly, did Styles hock a loogie on co-star Chris Pine’s lap at the screening, as social media sleuths contended, or was Spitgate merely a collective hallucination driven by insatiable appetite for idiotic controversy? Julian Sancton, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Dec. 2022 At the press conference before the first LIV event, each golfer who spoke sounded more idiotic than the one who came before. Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas News, 9 June 2022 The fracture widens and hardens—fanatic, schismatic, idiotic. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, 7 Nov. 2022 Within minutes of arriving in the Sooner state, Dwight has taken over a legal marijuana dispensary run by an idiotic stoner (Martin Starr), wielding nothing but a metal water bottle as a weapon. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 12 Nov. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'idiotic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1659, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of idiotic was in 1659

Dictionary Entries Near idiotic

Cite this Entry

“Idiotic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


id·​i·​ot·​ic ˌid-ē-ˈät-ik How to pronounce idiotic (audio)
: showing complete lack of thought or common sense : foolish
idiotically adverb
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