nin·​com·​poop ˈnin-kəm-ˌpüp How to pronounce nincompoop (audio)
plural nincompoops
: a stupid or silly person : fool, simpleton
… they could easily find some nincompoop to give them yet more money …Kevin Maney
"A bunch of nincompoops … that could not find themselves out of a restroom."Jill Zuckman
nincompoopery noun
Each day's news seems to bring ever more horrific stories of greed, incompetence, arrogance, excess, deceit … and inconceivable nincompoopery The Hightower Lowdown

Example Sentences

The people running that company are a bunch of nincompoops! quit acting like a nincompoop, because I know you are smarter than that
Recent Examples on the Web Joshua Echebiri, as a nincompoop of a Slender; David Ryan Smith, playing the simperingly pretentious Doctor Caius; Angela Grovey, sympathetically devious as Mama Quickly and Kyle Scatliffe, as a gallant Mister Page. Washington Post, 15 Aug. 2021 Occam's Razor cuts through the noise to suggest Americans aren't through electing a reprobate, a criminal and an utter nincompoop. Arkansas Online, 23 June 2021 Equal in irrelevance was HR Paul, the head of the human resources department, who was generally regarded as a nincompoop psychology PhD with a flatulence problem. Eric Johnson, Recode, 2 Oct. 2018 Faith’s decidedly pink-collar job is threatened by a nincompoop former prep-school football-star boss. The Washington Post, The Denver Post, 2 Mar. 2017

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

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

circa 1668, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nincompoop was circa 1668

Dictionary Entries Near nincompoop

Cite this Entry

“Nincompoop.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


nin·​com·​poop ˈnin-kəm-ˌpüp How to pronounce nincompoop (audio)
: a foolish or stupid person

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