imbecility

imbecility

[im-buh-sil-i-tee]
noun, plural imbecilities.
1.
an instance or point of weakness; feebleness; incapability.
2.
stupidity; silliness; absurdity.
3.
an instance of this.
4.
Psychology. (no longer in technical use; considered offensive) the state of being an imbecile.

Origin:
1525–35; earlier imbecillity < Latin imbēcillitās. See imbecile, -ity

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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

imbecility
1530s, "weakness, feebleness, impotence," from L. imbecillitatem (nom. imbecillitas) "weakness, feebleness," from imbecillus "weak, feeble," traditionally said to mean "unsupported" (quasi sine baculo), from in- "not" + baculum "a stick." "Weakness in mind" (as opposed to body) was a secondary sense
in Latin but was not attested in English until 1620s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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