- The definition of an idiot is a fool or stupid person.
An example of an idiot is a person who thinks it's safe to play in traffic.
Only an idiot would cross the street this way.
- Obsolete a retarded person mentally equal or inferior to a child two years old
- a very foolish or stupid person
Origin of idiotMiddle English idiote ; from Old French ; from Classical Latin idiota, ignorant and common person ; from Classical Greek idiōtēs, layman, ignorant person ; from idios, one's own, peculiar: see idio-
- A person who is considered foolish or stupid.
- A person of profound mental retardation having a mental age below three years and generally unable to learn connected speech or guard against common dangers. The term belongs to a classification system no longer in use and is now considered offensive.
Origin of idiotMiddle English, ignorant person, from Old French idiote, from Latin idiōta, from Greek idiōtēs, private person, layman, from idios, own, private; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots.
- (pejorative) A common term for a person of low general intelligence.
- usage note This may be used pejoratively, as an insult. It is a weak insult, however, and between close friends, family members, or lovers, is often completely nonaggressive.
From Middle English, from Old French idiote (later idiot), from Latin idiota, from Ancient Greek ἰδιώτης (idiōtēs, “a private citizen, one who has no professional knowledge, layman”), from ἴδιος (idios, “one's own, pertaining to oneself, private”); ἰδιώτης (idiōtēs) was used derisively in ancient Athens to refer to one who declined to take part in public life.