mental retardation

noun

Definition of mental retardation

now often offensive
: mild to severe impairment in intellectual ability equivalent to an IQ of 70 to 75 or below that is accompanied by significant limitations in social, practical, and conceptual skills (as in interpersonal communication, reasoning, or self-care) necessary for independent daily functioning and that has an onset before age 18 : intellectual disability

Note: The term intellectual disability is now preferred over mental retardation in medical, educational, and regulatory contexts, as well as in general use. The term mental retardation is increasingly considered offensive, though it was the dominant term into the second decade of the current century.

Examples of mental retardation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web By diagnosing the disorder within days, doctors could alter the course of the disease, treating babies with special infant formula and diets before the disorder caused mental retardation. Mark Johnson, jsonline.com, 29 Apr. 2022 As autism diagnoses increased, diagnoses of mental retardation and other learning disabilities decreased. Rachel Burr Gerrard, STAT, 13 Feb. 2022 In contrast, children with mental retardation were believed to lag behind in all areas and could not improve with therapy, justifying banishing them to institutions away from society. Rachel Burr Gerrard, STAT, 13 Feb. 2022 Born with mental retardation, Kriewaldt also suffered from a seizure disorder. jsonline.com, 31 Aug. 2021 He was assigned to Hilltop, the long-term care facility for people with mental retardation and mental illnesses, as well as behavior management problems. Meg Kissinger And Steve Schultze, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 Aug. 2021 Alireza was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, profound mental retardation, aphasia and intracranial calcifications. oregonlive, 30 June 2020 Another victim diagnosed with mental retardation at an early age was robbed of her social security income after Mearis allegedly re-directed the funds to himself, the release stated. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, 23 Oct. 2019 And so, parents forget, or more likely never knew, that 33 of every 100,000 people who experienced actual measles ended up with mental retardation or central nervous system damage. Richard Conniff, National Geographic, 16 Aug. 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of mental retardation

1901, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for mental retardation

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The first known use of mental retardation was in 1901

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Dictionary Entries Near mental retardation

mental ratio

mental retardation

mentals

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Statistics for mental retardation

Last Updated

25 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Mental retardation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mental%20retardation. Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for mental retardation

mental retardation

noun

Medical Definition of mental retardation

now often offensive : mild to severe impairment in intellectual ability equivalent to an IQ of 70 to 75 or below that is accompanied by significant limitations in social, practical, and conceptual skills (as in interpersonal communication, reasoning, or self-care) necessary for independent daily functioning and that has an onset before age 18 : intellectual disability

Note: The term intellectual disability is now preferred over mental retardation in medical, educational, and regulatory contexts, as well as in general use. The term mental retardation is increasingly considered offensive, though it was the dominant term into the second decade of the current century.

More from Merriam-Webster on mental retardation

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mental retardation

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mental retardation

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