Definition of simpleton in English:



  • A foolish or gullible person.

    ‘stop grinning at me like a simpleton’
    • ‘Not content with treating islanders like simpletons unable to purchase a computer for themselves, the Executive turned its patronising gaze upon anyone who has been about for a while.’
    • ‘Her characters are selfish and suspicious simpletons.’
    • ‘He would spend hours working out the answer to a question that the rest of us simpletons dealt with (probably inadequately) in an hour.’
    • ‘Is God a fool, a simpleton who can be fobbed off with an empty formula of words?’
    • ‘I am similarly hopeful that you liberal, subjectivist, collectivist simpletons are roundly agitated and annoyed.’
    • ‘Crazy simpletons are very much in the minority.’
    • ‘He may be a fool, but actual gurning simpletons generally don't make it far in his profession.’
    • ‘What am I, a simpleton when it comes to golf (among other things), supposed to believe?’
    • ‘On the other hand we can quite easily see when we are being treated as if we were just a pack of easily manipulated simpletons.’
    • ‘Why should the instability of a few simpletons be the standard bearer for what the rest of us might watch, read, hear, think?’
    • ‘I hated my clansmen, hated them for being ignorant simpletons.’
    • ‘But he does not dismiss the Germans as simpletons.’
    • ‘We would be deeply insulted if someone called us fools or simpletons should have sufficient pride not to insult ourselves by behaving in a manner that would warrant such epithets.’
    • ‘A collection of simpletons and self serving misfits that do not merit their status and salaries.’
    • ‘In Shakespeare, probity is the possession of stout-hearted simpletons, such as Florizel, Bassanio, and Duke Orsino.’
    • ‘Whether the theory truly tipped non-violent musers into killers, or whether it merely gave a pretext to psychopaths, simpletons and romantics to commit murders, is unclear.’
    • ‘I was mocked as a simpleton when I sang of birds and bees and flowers like a child.’
    • ‘People think planners are simpletons, local government idiots, but they're not.’
    • ‘The public have been treated as though they were simpletons at every stage of the project.’
    • ‘In today's ‘inclusive’ society, it is okay to denigrate sections of the electorate as simpletons if they are still gripped by the power of faith.’
    fool, nincompoop, dunce, dullard, ignoramus
    View synonyms


Mid 17th century: from simple, on the pattern of surnames derived from place names ending in -ton.