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.’
    • ‘Is God a fool, a simpleton who can be fobbed off with an empty formula of words?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He would spend hours working out the answer to a question that the rest of us simpletons dealt with (probably inadequately) in an hour.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I was mocked as a simpleton when I sang of birds and bees and flowers like a child.’
    • ‘In Shakespeare, probity is the possession of stout-hearted simpletons, such as Florizel, Bassanio, and Duke Orsino.’
    • ‘People think planners are simpletons, local government idiots, but they're not.’
    • ‘A collection of simpletons and self serving misfits that do not merit their status and salaries.’
    • ‘I hated my clansmen, hated them for being ignorant simpletons.’
    • ‘Why should the instability of a few simpletons be the standard bearer for what the rest of us might watch, read, hear, think?’
    • ‘But he does not dismiss the Germans as simpletons.’
    • ‘What am I, a simpleton when it comes to golf (among other things), supposed to believe?’
    • ‘I am similarly hopeful that you liberal, subjectivist, collectivist simpletons are roundly agitated and annoyed.’
    • ‘The public have been treated as though they were simpletons at every stage of the project.’
    • ‘Her characters are selfish and suspicious simpletons.’
    • ‘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.’
    fool, nincompoop, dunce, dullard, ignoramus
    idiot, imbecile, moron, cretin, halfwit, thicko, thickhead, nitwit, dope, dimwit, dumbo, dummy, donkey, stupid, stupe
    twit, nit, numpty, twerp, clot, muggins, juggins, silly billy
    nyaff, sumph, gowk
    sap, schmuck, lamer
    View synonyms


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