Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A weight consisting of a short bar with a metal ball or disk at each end that is lifted for muscular development and exercise.
  • noun Slang A stupid person; a dolt.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One of a pair of weights, each consisting of two balls joined by a bar, intended to be swung in the hands for the sake of muscular exercise, made of iron, or for very light exercise of hard wood.
  • noun In bacterial., a diplococcus: so called from its shape.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An exercising weight, consisting of two spheres or spheroids, connected by a short bar for a handle; used (often in pairs) for gymnastic exercise.
  • noun an ignorant or foolish person.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun weightlifting A weight consisting of two disks or spheres attached to a short bar; used for exercise and weight training
  • noun pejorative A stupid person

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an exercising weight; two spheres connected by a short bar that serves as a handle
  • noun an ignorant or foolish person

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From an apparatus similar to that used in ringing a church bell, but without the bell, used for practice or physical exercise.]

Examples

  • Northgate included a single department store, but the standard arrangement, called a dumbbell plan, had two department stores, one at each end of a pedestrian promenade.

    Makeshift Metropolis

  • Northgate included a single department store, but the standard arrangement, called a dumbbell plan, had two department stores, one at each end of a pedestrian promenade.

    Makeshift Metropolis

  • Northgate included a single department store, but the standard arrangement, called a dumbbell plan, had two department stores, one at each end of a pedestrian promenade.

    Makeshift Metropolis

  • In one small case, you can create up to two fifteen-pound dumbbells or one thirty-pound dumbbell, which is what you will soon need.

    Lange 2010

  • In one small case, you can create up to two fifteen-pound dumbbells or one thirty-pound dumbbell, which is what you will soon need.

    Lange 2010

  • Together, the two ends of the dumbbell were a pair of magnetic dipoles and opposites of each other, but were separated by a significant distance.

    Ars Technica

  • Together, the two ends of the dumbbell were a pair of magnetic dipoles and opposites of each other, but were separated by a significant distance.

    Ars Technica

  • We need a way to divide the mind into parts that is more meaningful than crude folk psychology "dumbbell" two part distinctions such as conscious v. unconscious, premeditated v. impulsive, etc.

    Archive 2008-10-01

  • We need a way to divide the mind into parts that is more meaningful than crude folk psychology "dumbbell" two part distinctions such as conscious v. unconscious, premeditated v. impulsive, etc.

    minsky 4: consciousness

  • And what I tried to do in using that term "dumbbell," was to call it into question and say, well, what if we try to understand him not as a dumbbell, but as a kind of text?

    Lafayette in Two Worlds: Public Cultures and Personal Identities in an Age of Revolutions

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