Definitions for imbecileˈɪm bə sɪl, -səl; esp. Brit. -ˌsil

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word imbecile

Princeton's WordNet

  1. idiot, imbecile, cretin, moron, changeling, half-wit, retard(adj)

    a person of subnormal intelligence

  2. imbecile, imbecilic, idiotic(adj)

    having a mental age of three to seven years

GCIDE

  1. Imbecile(n.)

    (Psychology) A person with a degree of mental retardation between that of an idiot and a moron; in a former classification of mentally retarded person, it applied to a person with an adult mental age of from four to eith years, and an I.Q. of from 26 to 50.

Wiktionary

  1. imbecile(Noun)

    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.

  2. imbecile(Noun)

    A fool, an idiot.

  3. Origin: From imbecillus, literally “without a staff”.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Imbecile(adj)

    destitute of strength, whether of body or mind; feeble; impotent; esp., mentally wea; feeble-minded; as, hospitals for the imbecile and insane

  2. Imbecile(noun)

    one destitute of strength; esp., one of feeble mind

  3. Imbecile(verb)

    to weaken; to make imbecile; as, to imbecile men's courage

Freebase

  1. Imbecile

    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".


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