imbecile

[im-buh-sil, -suhl or, esp. British, -seel]
noun
1.
Informal. a dunce; blockhead; dolt: Don't stand there like an imbecile. Open the door!.
2.
Psychology. (no longer in technical use; now considered offensive) a person of the second order in a former and discarded classification of mental retardation, above the level of idiocy, having a mental age of seven or eight years and an intelligence quotient of 25 to 50.
adjective
3.
Informal. stupid; silly; absurd.
4.
Usually Offensive. showing mental feebleness or incapacity.
5.
Archaic. weak or feeble.

Origin:
1540–50; earlier imbecill < Latin imbēcillus weak; -ile replacing -ill by confusion with suffix -ile

imbecilic, adjective
imbecilely, adverb
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
imbecile
 
n
1.  psychol a person of very low intelligence (IQ of 25 to 50), usually capable only of guarding himself against danger and of performing simple mechanical tasks under supervision
2.  informal an extremely stupid person; dolt
 
adj
3.  of or like an imbecile; mentally deficient; feeble-minded
4.  stupid or senseless: an imbecile thing to do
 
[C16: from Latin imbēcillus feeble (physically or mentally)]
 
'imbecilely
 
adv
 
imbe'cilically
 
adv
 
imbe'cility
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

imbecile
1540s, imbecille (adj.) "weak, feeble" (especially in reference to body), from M.Fr. imbecile (15c.), from L. imbecillus "weak, feeble" (see imbecility). Sense shifted to mental weakness from mid-18c. As a noun, it is attested from 1802. Traditionally one with a mental
age of roughly 6 to 9 (ahead of an idiot but beneath a moron).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

imbecile im·be·cile (ĭm'bə-sĭl, -səl)
n.
A person of moderate to severe mental retardation having a mental age of from three to seven years and generally being capable of some degree of communication and performance of simple tasks under supervision. The term belongs to a classification system no longer in use and is now considered offensive.


im'be·cil'i·ty (-sĭl'ĭ·tē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
If somebody writes a book and doesn't care for the survival of that book, he's an imbecile.
One would have to be the biggest imbecile in the world to have hired him.
It is not what is in the list that shocks me, for any list drawn by bureaucrats is bound to be an imbecile list.
We build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick.
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