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

  • noun A person who is considered foolish or stupid.
  • noun A person of profound mental retardation having a mental age below three years and generally unable to learn connected speech or guard against common dangers. The term belongs to a classification system no longer in use and is now considered offensive.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To make or render idiotic.
  • noun A private person.
  • noun An unlearned, ignorant, or simple person.
  • noun A fool or dupe; one who is fooled.
  • noun A professional fool; a jester; a clown.
  • noun A human being destitute of the ordinary mental powers; one who is born without understanding or discernment, or who has utterly lost it by disease, so as to have no lucid intervals; one who, by deficiency of the intellectual faculties, is unfit for the social condition, or for taking care of himself in danger.
  • noun In old English law, one who has been without understanding or reasoning powers from his birth, as distinguished from a lunatic. “At the present day idiocy is considered as a species of insanity or lunacy.” (Rapalje and Lawrence.)
  • Afflicted with or indicating idiocy; idiotic.

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

  • noun obsolete A man in private station, as distinguished from one holding a public office.
  • noun obsolete An unlearned, ignorant, or simple person, as distinguished from the educated; an ignoramus.
  • noun A human being destitute of the ordinary intellectual powers, whether congenital, developmental, or accidental; commonly, a person without understanding from birth; a natural fool. In a former classification of mentally retarded people, idiot designated a person whose adult level of intelligence was equivalent to that of a three-year old or younger; this corresponded with an I.Q. level of approximately 25 or less.
  • noun A fool; a simpleton; -- a term of reproach.

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

  • noun pejorative A common term for a person of low general intelligence.
  • noun obsolete A medical or psychological term meaning a person who lacks the capacity to develop beyond the mental age of a normal four-year-old.

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

  • noun a person of subnormal intelligence


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

[Middle English, ignorant person, from Old French idiote, from Latin idiōta, from Greek idiōtēs, private person, layman, from idios, own, private; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old French idiote (later idiot), from Latin idiota, from Ancient Greek ἰδιώτης (idiōtēs, "a private citizen, one who has no professional knowledge, layman"), from ἴδιος (idios, "one's own, pertaining to oneself, private"); ἰδιώτης (idiōtēs) was used derisively in ancient Athens to refer to one who declined to take part in public life.


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  • "People are idiots. Including me. Everyone is an idiot, not just the people with the low SAT scores. The only difference is that we're idiots about different things at different times. No matter how smart you are, you spend much of your day being an idiot."

    November 11, 2007

  • Sadly, this is true. :-)

    November 11, 2007

  • good point

    October 18, 2011

  • chill

    May 2, 2019