Definitions for imbecileˈɪm bə sɪl, -səl; esp. Brit. -ˌsil
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
im•be•cileˈɪm bə sɪl, -səl; esp. Brit. -ˌsil(n.)
a stupid person; dolt.
a person of the second order in a former 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.
Origin of imbecile:
1540–50; earlier imbecill < L imbēcillus weak
idiot, imbecile, cretin, moron, changeling, half-wit, retard(adj)
a person of subnormal intelligence
imbecile, imbecilic, idiotic(adj)
having a mental age of three to seven years
A person with limited mental capacity who can perform tasks and think only like a young child, in medical circles meaning a person who lacks the capacity to develop beyond the mental age of a normal five to seven-year-old child.
A fool, an idiot.
Origin: From imbecillus, literally “without a staff”.
destitute of strength, whether of body or mind; feeble; impotent; esp., mentally wea; feeble-minded; as, hospitals for the imbecile and insane
one destitute of strength; esp., one of feeble mind
to weaken; to make imbecile; as, to imbecile men's courage
Imbecile was a medical category of people with moderate to severe mental retardation, as well as a type of criminal. The term arises from the Latin word imbecillus, meaning weak, or weak-minded. It included people with an IQ of 26–50, between "moron" and "idiot". The meaning was further refined into mental and moral imbecility. The concepts of "moral insanity", "moral idiocy"," and "moral imbecility", led to the emerging field of eugenic criminology, which held that crime can be reduced by preventing "feeble-minded" people from reproducing. "Imbecile" as a concrete classification was popularized by psychologist Henry H. Goddard and was used in 1927 by United States Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in his ruling in the forced-sterilization case Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200. The concept is closely associated with psychology, psychiatry, criminology, and eugenics. However, the term imbecile quickly passed into vernacular usage as a derogatory term, and fell out of professional use in the 20th century in favor of mental retardation. In recent decades, the phrases "mental retardation", "mentally retarded", and "retarded" have similarly come to be viewed as derogatory terms and their usage now is considered to be politically incorrect much like the words moron, imbecile, and idiot, formerly used as scientific terms in the early 20th century, also came to be viewed as derogatory. On October 5, 2010, President Barack Obama signed Senate Bill 2781, known as "Rosa's Law", which changed references in many Federal statutes that referred to "mental retardation" to refer instead to "intellectual disability".
Translations for imbecile
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary
a stupid person; a fool.
- imbecilPortuguese (BR)
- der IdiotGerman
- آدم احمقFarsi
- imbecil, glupanCroatian
- orang tolol, orang dunguIndonesian
- fáviti, heimskingiIcelandic
- kvailys, silpnaprotisLithuanian
- imbesil, toskNorwegian
- آدم احمقPersian
- احمقه سړیPashto
- imbecill personSwedish
- คนโง่; คนงี่เง่าThai
- budala, ahmak kimseTurkish
- 笨蛋Chinese (Trad.)
- дурень, придурокUkrainian
- kẻ khờ dạiVietnamese
- 笨人Chinese (Simp.)
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