idiot

idiot

[id-ee-uht]
noun
1.
Informal. an utterly foolish or senseless person: If you think you can wear that outfit to a job interview and get hired, you're an idiot!
2.
Psychology. (no longer in technical use; considered offensive) a person of the lowest order in a former and discarded classification of mental retardation, having a mental age of less than three years old and an intelligence quotient under 25.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English < Latin idiōta < Greek idiṓtēs private person, layman, person lacking skill or expertise, equivalent to idiō- (lengthened variant of idio- idio-, perhaps by analogy with stratiōtēs professional soldier, derivative of stratiá army) + -tēs agent noun suffix

idiotic, adjective


1. fool, half-wit; imbecile; dolt, dunce, numskull.
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World English Dictionary
idiot (ˈɪdɪət)
 
n
1.  a person with severe mental retardation
2.  a foolish or senseless person
 
[C13: from Latin idiōta ignorant person, from Greek idiōtēs private person, one who lacks professional knowledge, ignoramus; see idio-]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

idiot
c.1300, "person so mentally deficient as to be incapable of ordinary reasoning," from O.Fr. idiote "uneducated or ignorant person," from L. idiota "ordinary person, layman," in L.L. "uneducated or ignorant person," from Gk. idiotes "layman, person lacking professional skill," lit. "private person,"
used patronizingly for "ignorant person," from idios "one's own" (see idiom).
"Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." [Mark Twain, c.1882]
Idiot box "television set" is from 1959; idiot light "dashboard warning signal" is attested from 1968. Idiocy (1487) is perhaps modeled on prophet/prophecy.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

idiot id·i·ot (ĭd'ē-ət)
n.
A person of profound mental retardation having a mental age below three years and generally being 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.


id'i·ot'ĭk (-ŏt'ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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