Adjective "imbecile" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


A stupid person.
  1. 'The majority of new staff don't usually stay on for longer than a month, due to the fact that the place is run by an intolerable bunch of more-money-than-common-decency morons and imbeciles.'
  2. 'He even goes as far as to proclaim that we are foolish, imbeciles, insane and lunatics, if that what his term ‘idiocy’ translates as.'
  3. 'The people who have been telling you about all the rights you have are simply exercising one of theirs - the right to be imbeciles.'
  4. 'In the Eighteenth Century, imbeciles but not idiots could be executed for capital offenses.'
  5. 'Or are you really raising a bunch of imbeciles in your house?'
  6. 'Watching the sly but brilliant machinations of the programme - makers as they assembled their castaways, I was consumed with fury that these imbeciles were going to have the privilege of living on my island without appreciating it.'
  7. 'Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it'
  8. 'Labelled aments (literally ‘without mind’), idiots or imbeciles, they were dealt with in the same way as those who had lost their reason, by incarceration in the new nineteenth-century lunatic asylums.'
  9. 'The 1901 census revealed that more than 13,000 people were living in asylums, officially classed as lunatics or imbeciles.'
  10. 'What we resent is the deplorable, but democratic, success of junk culture and junk food, and of a political system which seems to be run by corrupt imbeciles.'


Stupid; idiotic.
  1. 'Usually I was so depressed on that day that I could find it in myself to be sarcastic, which meant it wasn't worth the dealing with the imbecile morons that attended Tucker High.'
  2. 'Between historical pessimism and imbecile revolution, there is a stretch of arid territory where the cartoonist retires to.'
  3. 'The genius (such as it is) resides in the system, not in a string of Ubermensch at the top gazing in horror at the imbecile masses.'
  4. 'Frustrated, and as always, completely unable to handle my own imperfections, I settled in with my mother's aged copy of Mastering The Art of French Cooking, only to learn that it is not me, but my imbecile American eggs at fault.'
  5. 'Rules and regulations take a backseat during this fortnight of imbecile fanaticism.'
  6. 'Yeah, Margot was an annoyance, a jealousy inducing pain, but she was way more appealing as a roomie than that imbecile counsellor.'
  7. 'Nevertheless, for the dissenters, the Eighteenth Century understanding of the Eighth Amendment - and the ancient idiot / imbecile distinction - pretty much settled the case.'


1. Informal. a dunce; blockhead; dolt: Don't stand there like an imbecile. Open the door!.

2. Psychology. (no longer in technical use; now considered offensive) a person of the second order in a former and discarded classification of mental retardation, above the level of idiocy, having a mental age of seven or eight years and an intelligence quotient of 25 to 50. adjective

3. Informal. stupid; silly; absurd.

4. Usually Offensive. showing mental feebleness or incapacity.

5. Arch

More examples(as adjective)

"writers can be imbecile."

"voices can be imbecile."

"violences can be imbecile."

"talks can be imbecile."

"stages can be imbecile."

More examples++


Mid 16th century (as an adjective in the sense ‘physically weak’): via French from Latin imbecillus, literally ‘without a supporting staff’, from in- (expressing negation) + baculum ‘stick, staff’. The current sense dates from the early 19th century.