imbecile

  • 1imbécile — [ ɛ̃besil ] adj. et n. • 1496; lat. imbecillus I ♦ Adj. 1 ♦ Vx Faible, débile. « L homme, imbécile ver de terre » (Pascal). 2 ♦ Méd. Qui est atteint d imbécillité. ⇒ arriéré. 3 ♦ (fin XVIIe) Cour …

    Encyclopédie Universelle

  • 2Imbecile — Im be*cile, v. t. To weaken; to make imbecile; as, to imbecile men s courage. [Obs.] Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster] …

    The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 3Imbecile — Im be*cile, a. [L. imbecillis, and imbecillus; of unknown origin: cf. F. imb[ e]cile.] Destitute of strength, whether of body or mind; feeble; impotent; esp., mentally wea; feeble minded; as, hospitals for the imbecile and insane. Syn: Weak;… …

    The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 4imbecile — (adj.) 1540s, imbecille weak, feeble (especially in reference to the body), from M.Fr. imbecile (15c.), from L. imbecillus weak, feeble (see IMBECILITY (Cf. imbecility)). Sense shifted to mental weakness from mid 18c. As a noun, feeble minded… …

    Etymology dictionary

  • 5imbecile — [adj] stupid, foolish asinine, backward, deranged, dim witted, dull, fatuous, feeble minded, idiotic, imbecilic, inane, ludicrous, moronic, simple, simple minded, slow, thick, witless; concept 402 Ant. brainy, intelligent, smart imbecile [n] very …

    New thesaurus

  • 6imbecile — [im′bəsil′ikim′bə sil, im′bəsəl; ] Brit [, im′bəsēl΄, im′bəsīl΄] n. [Fr imbécile < L imbecilis, imbecillus, feeble, weak, prob. < in , without + baculus, staff (see BACILLUS): hence “without support”] 1. Obs. a retarded person mentally… …

    English World dictionary

  • 7Imbecile — Im be*cile, n. 1. One destitute of strength; esp., one of feeble mind; sometimes used as a pejorative term. [1913 Webster] 2. (Psychology) A person with a degree of mental retardation between that of an idiot and a moron; in a former… …

    The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 8imbecile — im·be·cile / im bə sil, ˌsīl/ n: a mentally retarded or deficient person; esp: a severely mentally retarded person used esp. formerly; see also idiot Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …

    Law dictionary

  • 9imbecile — idiot, moron, *fool, simpleton, natural …

    New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • 10imbecile — ► NOUN informal ▪ a stupid person. ► ADJECTIVE ▪ stupid. DERIVATIVES imbecilic adjective imbecility noun (pl. imbecilities) . ORIGIN originally in the sense «physically weak»: from Latin imbecillus without a supporting staff …

    English terms dictionary

  • 11imbécile — (in bé si l ) adj. 1°   Faible d esprit et de corps, incapable. •   N es tu pas, ô mon Dieu, mon seigneur souverain, Et moi ton serviteur pauvre, lâche, imbécile, Dont tout l effort est inutile, à moins qu avoir l appui de ta divine main ?, CORN …

    Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • 12IMBÉCILE — adj. des deux genres Qui est dans l imbécillité. Le grand âge et les infirmités l ont rendu imbécile. Il devient imbécile. Un vieillard imbécile.   Il se dit quelquefois, par exagération, D une personne dépourvue d esprit, ou qui parle, qui agit… …

    Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

  • 13IMBÉCILE — adj. des deux genres Qui est peu capable de raisonner, de comprendre et d’agir judicieusement. Il faut que cet homme soit un imbécile pour... Qu’il a l’air imbécile! Dans cette acception il s’emploie souvent comme nom. Ce pauvre imbécile s’est… …

    Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)

  • 14imbecile — n. an imbecile to + inf. (he was an imbecile to sign a contract with them) * * * [ ɪmbəsiːl] an imbecile to + inf. (he was an imbecile to sign a contract with them) …

    Combinatory dictionary

  • 15imbécile — an., sot, peu sensé, simple, idiot, inintelligent, crétin, niais, nigaud, insouciant ; stupide, complètement imbécile fou // cinglé, con ; qui perd complètement la tête, qui déraisonne complètement : ânichon, na, e an. (Annecy 003, Genève, St… …

    Dictionnaire Français-Savoyard

  • 16imbecile — im|be|cile [ˈımbəsi:l US səl] n [Date: 1400 1500; : French; Origin: imbécile, from imbécile weak, weak minded , from Latin imbecillus, probably from baculum stick (for support) ] someone who is very stupid or behaves very stupidly = ↑idiot ▪ He… …

    Dictionary of contemporary English

  • 17imbecile — [[t]ɪ̱mbɪsiːl, AM s(ə)l[/t]] imbeciles 1) N COUNT (disapproval) If you call someone an imbecile, you are showing that you think they are stupid or have done something stupid. I don t want to deal with these imbeciles any longer. Syn: idiot 2) ADJ …

    English dictionary

  • 18imbecile — noun Etymology: French imbécile, noun, from adjective, weak, weak minded, from Latin imbecillus Date: 1802 1. usually offensive a person affected with moderate mental retardation 2. fool, idiot • imbecile or imbecilic adjective …

    New Collegiate Dictionary

  • 19imbecile — UK [ˈɪmbəsiːl] / US [ˈɪmbəs(ə)l] / US [ˈɪmbəˌsaɪl] noun [countable] Word forms imbecile : singular imbecile plural imbeciles 1) an insulting word for someone who behaves in a very stupid way 2) old fashioned an offensive word for someone who has… …

    English dictionary

  • 20imbecile —    A variant on the ‘idiot/fool’ theme, less often used than those common words and perhaps favoured by educated speakers. The Bell, by Iris Murdoch, has ‘you perfect imbecile’ used as an insult. Perhaps this means weak both physically and… …

    A dictionary of epithets and terms of address