retarded

adjective

re·​tard·​ed ri-ˈtär-dəd How to pronounce retarded (audio)
1
dated, now offensive : affected by intellectual disability : intellectually disabled

Note: The term retarded is increasingly considered offensive. The use of intellectually disabled is now preferred over retarded in medical, educational, and regulatory contexts, as well as in general use.

2
informal + offensive : very stupid or foolish

Word History

First Known Use

1895, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of retarded was in 1895

Dictionary Entries Near retarded

Cite this Entry

“Retarded.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retarded. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

retarded

adjective
re·​tard·​ed ri-ˈtärd-əd How to pronounce retarded (audio)
usually offensive
: slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development
used chiefly in the past

Medical Definition

retarded

adjective
re·​tard·​ed ri-ˈtärd-əd How to pronounce retarded (audio)
dated, now offensive
: affected by intellectual disability : intellectually disabled

Note: The term retarded is increasingly considered offensive. The use of intellectually disabled is now preferred over retarded in medical, educational, and regulatory contexts, as well as in general use.

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