Definition of dingbat in English:



  • 1North American Australian NZ A stupid or eccentric person.

    • ‘These morons know how to say the right moronic things so that the various and sundry dingbats who listen to them actually have faith and act accordingly.’
    • ‘I don't want to go through the tedious selection process again just to have another salesperson glare at me like I'm a total dingbat for not making up my mind.’
    • ‘We're not suggesting that every dingbat who kicks-throws-hits a ball should be out there pronouncing on matters of state - far from it.’
    • ‘So go to a dentist, dingbat, you're saying to yourself as you read this.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, a lot of the company's defenders sound like complete dingbats.’
    • ‘‘Because he's my best friend, you dingbat,’ I cried, leaping to my feet.’
    • ‘Hopefully the rightwing-o-sphere's infatuation with this dingbat will be over soon.’
    • ‘Like Republicans, those who conceive and give birth to these movies are willing to do whatever it takes to sell them to a country of dingbats.’
    • ‘These are words of wisdom from a dingbat that did otherwise and was lucky to get away with it without killing another motherboard.’
    • ‘Under orders from the mayor, the police academy must open its doors to all types of dingbats and outcasts and, hence, the comedy troupe that (for the most part) marches on through six sequels and even a short-lived cartoon series.’
    • ‘So you set yourself up to be shot down by somebody - but they're dingbats anyway.’
    • ‘My mission was to identify the winning strategy, and to highbrow all the bandwagon dingbats.’
    • ‘The dingbats who thought God's word had to be represented by some sculpture profaned the word of God.’
    • ‘Well, if you are new to ASV, you can always check out the best of to get a flavor of what I do here or read this collection of essays to see that I am not just a one note dingbat, thank you.’
    • ‘I really appreciated that he walked me though the initial binocular lesson without making me feel like a dingbat.’
    • ‘While dingbats throw brickbats, he continues his reporting on the memo in the senate.’
    • ‘Yes, in all honestly she is a bit of a dingbat (and Tammy, I really do mean that in the best possible way), but she is also a very caring person, striving to keep her dignity and sanity in a world that often times mocks her faith.’
    • ‘Sometimes I think the president must sit back and laugh at how journalist after journalist thinks he's such a dingbat that they ask him softball question after softball question.’
    • ‘No, I don't know what gave those nosy dingbats the notion that they could just quit and go nosing around in stuff that's none of their business!’
    • ‘You would think a few dingbats in the mainstream financial market community would catch on to this repetitive deception.’
    idiot, ass, halfwit, nincompoop, blockhead, buffoon, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, cretin, imbecile, dullard, moron, simpleton, clod
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  • 2dingbatsAustralian NZ Delusions or feelings of unease, particularly those induced by delirium tremens.

  • 3A typographical device other than a letter or numeral (such as an asterisk), used to signal divisions in text or to replace letters in a euphemistically presented vulgar word.

    • ‘He has been collecting commercial misadventures for some time, and we heartily recommend the orange cone (‘the typographical dingbat of public spaces’) of his own gallery.’
    • ‘Unfortunately the desire was one that was hard to forget and so the sigil didn't work, but I believe the theory is strong, and there are some wonderfully arcane dingbats out there if you know where to look.’
    • ‘The designs, which recall both asterisks and shamrocks, also circle back to the Warhol-inspired dingbats of Daisy Chain, and the color reinforces the theme of luck.’


Mid 19th century (in early use applied to various vaguely specified objects): origin uncertain; perhaps based on ding. dingbat is probably by association with have bats in the belfry.