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

Definition of simpleton

: a person lacking in common sense

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 There can’t be anything more transparent than Manfred’s nail-pounding support for the beleaguered A’s in their battle against the simpleton officials of Oakland. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Oct. 2021 It is sometimes used as a synonym for uncouth or a simpleton. David Luhnow And Juan Montes, WSJ, 19 Oct. 2021 Korean media has long perpetuated the stereotype of the migrant worker as a simpleton with broken language and exaggerated mannerisms, and Saeji said Ali doesn’t completely transcend that. NBC News, 8 Oct. 2021 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, 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, 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, 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,, 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, 29 Aug. 2019

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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Dictionary Entries Near simpleton

simple tide


simple tone

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Statistics for simpleton

Last Updated

8 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Simpleton.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for simpleton



English Language Learners Definition of simpleton

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on simpleton

Nglish: Translation of simpleton for Spanish Speakers


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