idiot savant

idiot savant

[id-ee-uht sa-vahnt, suh-vant, sav-uhnt; French ee-dyoh sa-vahn]
noun, plural idiot savants French, idiots savants [ee-dyoh sa-vahn] . Psychiatry.
a mentally defective person with an exceptional skill or talent in a special field, as a highly developed ability to play music or to solve complex mathematical problems mentally at great speed.

Origin:
1925–30; < French: literally, learned idiot

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World English Dictionary
idiot savant (ˈiːdjəʊ sæˈvɑ̃, ˈɪdɪət ˈsævənt)
 
n , pl idiots savants, idiot savants
a person with learning difficulties who performs brilliantly at some specialized intellectual task, such as giving the day of the week for any calendar date past or present
 
[C19: from French: knowledgeable idiot]

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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

idiot savant (sā-vänt')
n. pl. idiot savants
A mentally retarded person who exhibits genius in a highly specialized area, such as mathematics.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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