sim·​ple·​ton | \ ˈsim-pəl-tən How to pronounce simpleton (audio) \

Definition of simpleton

: a person lacking in common sense

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Synonyms for simpleton


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Examples of simpleton in a Sentence

The instructions were so complicated I felt like a complete simpleton. his silly antics at office parties have earned him a reputation as a simpleton
Recent Examples on the Web Just because your simpleton that can only carry drinks and food to a table does not mean the rest of us need to risk a virus. Ann Norman, cleveland, "Do you think Ohio will face another coronavirus shutdown -- and would it help?," 20 Nov. 2020 Some historians emphasize the intellectual prowess of fascist dictators to imply that Trump is a simpleton or a moron. Federico Finchelstein, The New Republic, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Right to Warn of “Fascism in the United States”," 20 Aug. 2020 The tale is bookended by the 15-year-old Kafka and the elderly Nakata, a simpleton who communicates with cats. Debra Kamin, Condé Nast Traveler, "8 Transportive Novels That Will Take You Around the World," 18 Mar. 2020 Todd was always an only-half-knowable grotesque, one of those Jim Thompson-y fellas who could be a lucky simpleton or an evil genius. Darren Franich,, "El Camino is the Breaking Bad finale for everyone who thought Jesse got a raw deal," 11 Oct. 2019 In the latter, good generally wins out, however messily: Dragons get slain, witches are shoved into ovens, simpletons land fortunes, and so on. Bruce Handy, The Atlantic, "The Peanuts Characters Aren’t Ordinary Kids," 29 Aug. 2019 Even petting a dog, resting in bed or stopping to smell the flowers seems to test the skills of Torabi’s inexperienced simpletons. David Pagel, Los Angeles Times, "In her paintings, the glorious awkwardness of men failing to have fun," 29 July 2019 What's notable here is the start of Nate and Jenny's endless courtship (who doesn't root for two good-hearted simpletons?) and the touching, poignant conversation between Allison and Rufus. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Every Single Episode of Gossip Girl, Ranked," 19 Sep. 2018 The benefit of buying dirt-cheap goods from China is a comparative-advantage argument that even we economic simpletons can grasp. WSJ, "Boosting Industry Isn’t Trump’s Sole Trade Goal," 11 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of simpleton

circa 1630, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for simpleton

simple entry 1 + -ton (as in surnames such as Washington)

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Time Traveler for simpleton

Time Traveler

The first known use of simpleton was circa 1630

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Cite this Entry

“Simpleton.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of simpleton

old-fashioned : someone who is not very intelligent or who does not have or show good sense or judgment


sim·​ple·​ton | \ ˈsim-pəl-tən How to pronounce simpleton (audio) \

Kids Definition of simpleton

: a foolish or stupid person

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Nglish: Translation of simpleton for Spanish Speakers

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