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[sim-puh l-tuh n] /ˈsɪm pəl tən/
an ignorant, foolish, or silly person.
Origin of simpleton
1640-50; simple + -ton
dolt, fool, numskull, blockhead, ninny, dope. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for simpleton
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She thought her brother was making a simpleton of himself, and had a great mind to tell him so.

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
  • Hold your tongue, simpleton; it is not for you to control the decrees of the faculty.

  • Stop, friend, said he to the smith, let the simpleton go; this is not past mending yet.

    Twilight Land Howard Pyle
  • If she was not your grandmother, I should say that she was a simpleton.

  • A man who knows the world is a woman eater, and your 'pure' man is a simpleton.

    The Song of Songs Hermann Sudermann
  • As Camille listened to his friend, he contemplated him with all the astonishment of a simpleton.

    Therese Raquin Emile Zola
  • But Issek was not a woman to be put down easily by a simpleton.

    Red Rooney R.M. Ballantyne
  • He was more than ever sure that Grannie was a simpleton and Csar a brazen hypocrite.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • The simpleton—he should have been left to manage things for himself—and where would he have been then?

    Dry Fish and Wet Anthon Bernhard Elias Nilsen
British Dictionary definitions for simpleton


a foolish or ignorant person
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 simpleton

1640s, probably a jocular formation from simple and -ton, suffix extracted from surnames. Cf. skimmington, personification of an ill-used spouse," c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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