imbecile[im′bə sil, -səl; Brit, -sēl′, -sīl′]
An example of an imbecile is someone who treats people badly and does stupid things that don't make any sense.
- Obsolete a retarded person mentally equal to a child between three and eight years old
- a very foolish or stupid person
Origin of imbecileFrench imbécile ; from Classical Latin imbecilis, imbecillus, feeble, weak, probably ; from in-, without + baculus, staff (see bacillus): hence “without support”
- A person who is considered foolish or stupid.
- 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.
Origin of imbecileFrom obsolete French imbécille, weak, feeble, from Old French, from Latin imbēcillus : in-, not; see in–1 + possibly bacillum, staff, diminutive of baculum, rod; see bak- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative more imbecile, superlative most imbecile)
- (dated) Destitute of strength, whether of body or mind; feeble; impotent; especially, mentally weak.
- hospitals for the imbecile and insane
From Middle French imbécile, from Latin imbēcillus (“weak, feeble”), literally “without a staff”.