[ri-tahr-did] Usually Offensive.
characterized by a slowness or limitation in intellectual understanding and awareness, emotional development, academic progress, etc.
Slang. stupid or foolish.
(used with a plural verb) people who are slow or limited in mental development (usually preceded by the ): new schools for the retarded.

1800–10; retard + -ed2

nonretarded, adjective
unretarded, adjective

backward, disabled, handicapped.

In reference to low intellectual ability, the terms retarded, retardation, and mental retardation are now usually perceived as insulting. There are several acceptable alternatives. In general, someone with a mental, physical, or emotional disability may be described as developmentally disabled, or as a person with a developmental disability. If it is specifically a mental disability, the person may be described as cognitively impaired or intellectually (or mentally) disabled. Such a person may be referred to as an individual with a cognitive impairment or a person with an intellectual (or mental) disability. The slang term retard is a term of abuse used especially by children, though much less commonly than in the past. In both of its meanings, retard is perceived as insulting to disabled people. See also cripple. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
retarded (rɪˈtɑːdɪd)
ESN mental handicap See also subnormal underdeveloped, esp mentally and esp having an IQ of 70 to 85

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1810, pp. adj. from retard. In childhood development sense, "mentally slow," attested from 1895 (cf. It. tardivi).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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