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dunce cap

or dunce's cap

a tall, cone-shaped hat formerly worn by slow or lazy students as a punishment in school.
Also called fool's cap.
Origin of dunce cap
1830-40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dunce-cap
Historical Examples
  • He sat in school with a dunce-cap upon his head, or else played hookey and spent his hours in fishing, swimming or idling.

    The New Education Scott Nearing
  • I do not think the plan was very successful, for the pockmarked youngster was often adorned with the dunce-cap.

  • Although no dunce-cap was on his head, a roomful of staring eyes struck a burning shame into his soul.

    A Japanese Boy Shigemi Shiukichi
British Dictionary definitions for dunce-cap

dunce cap

a conical paper hat, formerly placed on the head of a dull child at school
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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