- A person who is slow at learning; a stupid person: he was baffled by arithmetic and they called him a dunce at schoolMore example sentences
fool, idiot, stupid person, simpleton, halfwit, ignoramus, oaf, dolt, dullard, moron, imbecile, cretin• informal dummy, dumbo, dumb-bell, dum-dum, clot, thickhead, nitwit, dimwit, dope, duffer, booby, chump, numbskull, nincompoop, bonehead, blockhead, fathead, meathead, airhead, birdbrain, pea-brain, lamebrain, jerk, ninny, ass, donkeyBritish • informal wally, numpty, berk, twerp, twonk, divvy, nit, mug, pillock, wazzock, silly billyNorth American • informal doofus, goof, goofball, schmuck, putz, bozo, boob, lamer, lummox, turkey, wing nutBritish • vulgar slang knobheadNorth American • vulgar slang asshat
- I'm such a dunce walking into a stupid place like this but its not like they could identify me.
- But depression returned when we kept thinking it was dominated by ignorant dunces.
- And I think I can say, with all fairness, that the management thinks I'm an air-headed dunce.
early 16th century: originally an epithet for a follower of John Duns Scotus ( see Duns Scotus, John), whose followers were ridiculed by 16th-century humanists and reformers as enemies of learning.