English [ edit ]
Etymology [ edit ]
1530, named after
(c. 1266–1308). John Duns Scotus
Scotus was ironically a well-known Scottish thinker. His followers, however, opposed the philosophers of the Renaissance, and thus "dunce" was first used to describe someone rejecting new knowledge in 1530; later, any stupid person.
Pronunciation [ edit ]
dunce ( plural )
An unintelligent person.
Synonyms: ; idiot see also Thesaurus: idiot
c. 1713, Jonathan Swift, “ Thoughts on Various Subjects”, in The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, volume 5: When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign; that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. 1855, Robert Browning, “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came”, XXX:
[...] Dunce, / Dotard, a-dozing at the very nonce, / After a life spent training for the sight!
Derived terms [ edit ]
Translations [ edit ]
— See also translations at idiot
Further reading [ edit ]
References [ edit ]