Definition of idiot in US English:



  • 1A stupid person.

    • ‘It is not a laughing matter, and it is certainly not caused by working with someone - as these stupid little idiots implied.’
    • ‘According to reports, at least half of the one hundred sheer blinding idiots stupid enough to mount the fencing and jump needed treatment from paramedics.’
    • ‘Yet, you are too stupid and self-absorbed to realize just how much of an idiot you are.’
    • ‘If he's such an idiot, how stupid are your guys to be losing to him this repeatedly?’
    • ‘It appears that we consumers would cease to be stupid, trusting idiots if the finance industry stopped being so obfuscating when persuading us to spend our money with them.’
    • ‘And he is not coming into court acting like an idiot and being stupid on the stand.’
    • ‘He and Paul were running around like idiots, acting more stupid than normal with the promise of summer so soon.’
    • ‘They think of me as an idiot, a fool, some disheveled thing rather than one of them.’
    • ‘So not only was it frustrating enough having stupid idiots bashing into us, we got caught on the edge of a fight that broke out involving about 15 guys.’
    • ‘The idiot students who got the broadcast internships are the same idiots who now have the broadcast jobs.’
    • ‘Stupid idiots that know they are going to die but don't care anyway.’
    • ‘Did we have idiots regulating morons or mice monitoring vipers?’
    • ‘First of all, that's a stupid name, those children are idiots.’
    • ‘I felt like such an idiot that morning, like a stupid dog that would follow him around wherever he went.’
    • ‘Instead, it's filled with a menagerie of idiots doing stupid things.’
    • ‘Which, all in all, does tend to make me look very much like an incomparable idiot.’
    • ‘Granted, they are still smarter than us but its one thing to be an idiot and quite another to choose to marry an idiot.’
    • ‘But unfortunately people did turn up, the stupid idiots, so I had to do my show.’
    • ‘There is nothing to be proud of or there is nothing clever about what these stupid idiots are doing.’
    • ‘The potential for chaos and lawsuits and cranky alumni is there but these aren't idiots you have hired and people aren't as stupid online as you fear.’
    fool, ass, halfwit, nincompoop, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, cretin, imbecile, dullard, moron, simpleton, clod
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    1. 1.1archaic A mentally handicapped person.
      • ‘In 1324 idiots and lunatics had different rights in law, but now these words have lost their more precise meanings and become little more than insults.’
      • ‘Authorized in 1851, the New York State Asylum for Idiots received its first "pupils" in 1883.’
      • ‘Rumors have been current that the guardian of the Moscow Cemetery kept an idiot confined in chains.’


Middle English (denoting a person of low intelligence): via Old French from Latin idiota ‘ignorant person’, from Greek idiōtēs ‘private person, layman, ignorant person’, from idios ‘own, private’.