A Word A Day : Imbecile

Monday, 1st October 2007 : Today's Word is ...


( Noun )

Pronunciation : im'be-sil

1. A stupid or silly person

2. A person whose mental acumen is well below par

3. A person of moderate to severe mental retardation having a mental age of from three to seven years and generally being capable of some degree of communication and performance of simple tasks under supervision. The term belongs to a classification system no longer in use and is now considered offensive

4. One deficient in judgment and good sense


From obsolete French imbecille, weak, feeble, from Old French, from Latin imbēcillus : in-, not


Ass, Fool, Idiot, Jackass, Mooncalf, Moron, Nincompoop, Ninny, Nitwit, Simple, Simpleton, Softhead, Tomfool


Brain, Genius, Intellectual

Contextual Examples:

• Am I not as brave, and much more intelligent, than that imbecile De Vitry?

• Pierre continued, in French, to persuade the officer not to hold that drunken imbecile to account.

• How hard it is to make your thoughts look anything but imbecile fools when you paint them with ink on paper.

Related Words:

1. Imbecilely : Adverb

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