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 In bacterial., a diplococcus: so called from its shape.
  • 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.

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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