What does dunce mean?

Definitions for dunce

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word dunce.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. dunce, dunderhead, numskull, blockhead, bonehead, lunkhead, hammerhead, knucklehead, loggerhead, muttonhead, shithead, dumbass, fuckheadnoun

    a stupid person; these words are used to express a low opinion of someone's intelligence


  1. duncenoun

    One backward in book learning; a child or other person dull or weak in intellect; a dullard; a dolt.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Duncenoun

    one backward in book learning; a child or other person dull or weak in intellect; a dullard; a dolt

    Etymology: [From Joannes Duns Scotus, a schoolman called the Subtle Doctor, who died in 1308. Originally in the phrase a Duns man. See Note below.]


  1. Dunce

    A dunce is a person considered to be incapable of learning. The word is derived from the name of the Scholastic theologian and philosopher John Duns Scotus, also referred to as Doctor Subtillis, or "Subtle Doctor", whose works on logic, theology and philosophy were accepted textbooks in the universities from the 14th century. Duns or Dunsman was a name applied by early opponents to the followers of Duns Scotus, who were less disparagingly called the Scotists. When, in the 16th century, the Scotists obstinately opposed the new learning, the term duns or dunce became, in the mouths of the Protestants a term of abuse, a synonym for one incapable of scholarship. Dunces are often comedically shown wearing paper cone hats, known as dunce caps, with the word "dunce" or "dumb", or simply a capitalized "D" on them. Schoolchildren were sometimes compelled to wear a dunce cap and to sit on a stool in the corner as a form of humiliating punishment for misbehaving or for failing to demonstrate that they had properly performed their studies.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Dunce

    duns, n. one slow at learning: a stupid person.—ns. Dunce′dom, the class of dunces; Dun′cery, stupidity; Dun′ciad, the epic of dunces, the world of dunces—name of a famous poem by Pope.—adjs. Dun′cish, Dunce′-like. [Duns Scotus (died 1308), the Subtle Doctor, leader of the schoolmen, from him called Dunses, who opposed classical studies on the revival of learning—hence any opposer of learning, a blockhead.]

Etymology and Origins

  1. Dunce

    From John Duns Scotus, who, it is said, gave no proof of his remarkable attainments in his early scholastic days.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of dunce in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of dunce in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Images & Illustrations of dunce

  1. dunceduncedunceduncedunce

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    the part played by a person in bringing about a result
    • A. slip
    • B. abdomen
    • C. contribution
    • D. model

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