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

  • adjective having a mental age of between eight and twelve years; also used as a derogatory term.

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

  • adjective medicine having a mental age of between seven and twelve years
  • adjective slang behaving in the manner of a moron; idiotic; stupid

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

  • adjective having a mental age of between eight and twelve years


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • WordNet is very precise about this.

    October 6, 2008

  • Weirdnet is always precise; there's no equivocation there.

    October 6, 2008

  • Dictionary battle: Wiktionary says it's between seven and twelve.

    According to Wikipedia the term moron was used in psychology to refer to someone with a mental age of 8 - 12 on the Binet scale, so we may have to let WordNet off this time.

    October 6, 2008

  • I was jus' thunkin', if you go all the way back to the Greek root the term simply implies a dullard. So the age-groups are a modern attempt at definition, it appears.

    October 6, 2008

  • And duly added to the 'But technically it means...' list.

    October 6, 2008

  • But surely not everyone with a mental age of 8-12 is moronic. What about children age 8-12? They're not morons, are they? These definitions should say: "referring to adults with a mental age…"

    October 6, 2008

  • Right. What if you are a baby with the 'mental age of between eight and twelve years' (whatever that means anyway...). Moronic?

    Look at that moronic infant doing calculus. What an idiot!

    October 6, 2008

  • Online Etymological Dictionary sez:

    "1910, from Gk. (Attic) moron, neut. of moros 'foolish, dull' (probably cognate with Skt. murah 'idiotic;' L. morus 'foolish' is a loan-word from Gk.). Adopted by the American Association for the Study of the Feeble-minded with a technical definition 'adult with a mental age between 8 and 12;' used as an insult since 1922 and subsequently dropped from technical use. Linnæus had introduced morisis 'idiocy.'"

    October 6, 2008