imbecile

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search
See also: imbécile

English

Etymology

From Middle French imbécile, from Latin imbēcillus (weak, feeble), literally “without a staff”.

Pronunciation

  • (file)

Noun

imbecile (plural imbeciles)

  1. (obsolete) A person with limited mental capacity who can perform tasks and think only like a young child, in medical circles meaning a person who lacks the capacity to develop beyond the mental age of a normal five to seven-year-old child.
  2. (pejorative) A fool, an idiot.

Usage notes

Synonyms

Derived terms

Translations

Adjective

imbecile (comparative more imbecile, superlative most imbecile)

  1. (dated) Destitute of strength, whether of body or mind; feeble; impotent; especially, mentally weak.
    hospitals for the imbecile and insane