Definition of imbecile noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈɪmbəsiːl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪmbəsl//
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  1. 1a rude way to describe a person that you think is very stupid synonym idiot They behaved like imbeciles.
  2. 2(old-fashioned, offensive) a person who has a very low level of intelligence
  3. Word Originmid 16th cent. (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 cent.

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