American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Great stupidity or foolishness.
- n. Something, such as conduct or an act, that is stupid or foolish.
- n. Psychology The state or condition of being an imbecile; moderate or severe mental retardation.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The condition or quality of being imbecile or impotent; weakness of either body or mind, but especially of the latter. Mental imbecility is such a weakness of mind, owing to defective development or to loss of faculty, as to incapacitate its subject for the ordinary duties of life, and for legal consent, choice, or responsibility.
- n. Synonyms Infirmity, Imbecility, etc. (see debility); feebleness, childishness, idiocy, dotage.
- n. The quality of being imbecile; weakness; feebleness, especially of mind.
- n. Something imbecilic; a stupid action, behaviour, etc.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The quality of being imbecile; weakness; feebleness, esp. of mind.
- n. retardation more severe than a moron but not as severe as an idiot
- n. a stupid mistake
“Armitage gave himself a mental kick for what he termed his imbecility, and went back to the hotel.”
“If youth, inexperience or just plain imbecility factors in to make the killing a waste through loss of meat or trophy -- I say we give the goofball a good stomping!”
“Young men are more frequently wanton and dissolute than old men; but yet, as it is not all young men that are so, but the bad set among them, even so senile folly -- usually called imbecility -- applies to old men of unsound character, not to all.”
“The TRUSTEE himself should determine that, by such testimony as he approves, and not appear to seek to bolster up the decisions of truth and faithfulness, by calling on Indian ignorance and imbecility, which is subject to be operated on by every species of selfishness.”
“_that_, by such testimony as he approves, and not appear to seek to bolster up the decisions of truth and faithfulness, by calling on Indian ignorance and imbecility, which is subject to be operated on by every species of selfishness.”
“It takes a special kind of imbecility to continue contradicting oneself even after the contradiction has been pointed out.”
“Urged on by the emissaries of that colossal superstition which casts its shadow over this Republic (whose home is a foreign kingdom, and whose head is a foreign prince), the semi-barbarous hordes of mingled races in the South American States, are a prey to successive bloody revolutions, through that imbecility which is the sure result of the amalgamation of civilization with barbarism.”
“Those who so deplore my 'imbecility' and 'incapacity' are the very men who are endeavoring to bring about a collision between the people of Kansas and the troops under General Ewing's command.”
“The man recovered himself slowly, and then affected that look of imbecility which is invariably the Dutchman's effort at self-protection when he is cornered by a question which he does not wish to answer.”
“Jefferson expressed himself as being ardently desirous of seeing a good system commenced for raising the condition both of the body and the mind of the slaves to what it ought to be as fast as the "imbecility" of their then existence and other circumstances, which could not be neglected, would admit.”
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Words taken from I, Claudius by Robert Graves.
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