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half-wit

[half-wit, hahf-] /ˈhælfˌwɪt, ˈhɑf-/
noun
1.
a person who is feeble-minded.
2.
a person who is foolish or senseless; dunderhead.
Origin
1670-1680
1670-80
Synonyms
2. blockhead, dolt, fool, nitwit, dope, dummy, dimwit.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for half-wit
  • To say you have read a book and then seemingly to understand nothing of what you have read, proves you a half-wit.
Word Origin and History for half-wit
n.

1670s, originally "a would-be wit whose abilities are mediocre;" sense of "simpleton" (one lacking all his wits) is first attested 1755.

Half-wits are fleas; so little and so light,
We scarce could know they live, but that they bite.
[Dryden, "All for Love"]
Phrase out of half wit "half out of one's mind" was in Middle English (late 14c.). Half-witted "lacking common sense" is from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for half-wit

half-wit

noun

A foolish person: half-wits in the phys ed class (1755+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Difficulty index for half-wit

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for half

10
10
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