1. A person who is considered foolish or stupid.
2. A person with profound intellectual disability having a mental age below three years and generally unable to learn connected speech or guard against common dangers. The term belongs to a classification system no longer in use and is now considered offensive.
[Middle English, ignorant person, from Old French idiote, from Latin idiōta, from Greek idiōtēs, private person, layman, from idios, own, private; see s(w)e- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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