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idiot

[id-ee-uh t] /ˈɪd i ət/
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
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
Related forms
idiotic, adjective
Synonyms
1. fool, half-wit; imbecile; dolt, dunce, numskull.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for idiot

idiot

/ˈɪdɪət/
noun
1.
a person with severe mental retardation
2.
a foolish or senseless person
Word Origin
C13: from Latin idiōta ignorant person, from Greek idiōtēs private person, one who lacks professional knowledge, ignoramus; see idio-
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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Word Origin and History for idiot
n.

early 14c., "person so mentally deficient as to be incapable of ordinary reasoning;" also in Middle English "simple man, uneducated person, layman" (late 14c.), from Old French idiote "uneducated or ignorant person" (12c.), from Latin idiota "ordinary person, layman; outsider," in Late Latin "uneducated or ignorant person," from Greek idiotes "layman, person lacking professional skill" (opposed to writer, soldier, skilled workman), literally "private person (as opposed to one taking part in public affairs)," 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. Idiot savant attested by 1870.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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idiot in Medicine

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
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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