Definition of idiot savant in English:

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idiot savant

Pronunciation: /ˌiːdjəʊ saˈvɒ̃/

noun (plural idiot savants or idiots savants pronounced same)

1A person who has a mental disability or learning difficulties but is extremely gifted in a particular way, such as the performing of feats of memory or calculation.
Example sentences
  • The character is a form of idiot savant who combines the disability with the compensating special powers.
  • The two brothers, one a genius and the other an idiot savant, generate, in their stream of consciousness, scatologically poetic and gloriously energetic comic prose that leaps off the page.
  • There ought to be a phrase - the opposite of idiot savant - for highly intelligent people who are also bloody fools.
1.1A person who is extremely unworldly but displays natural wisdom and insight.
Example sentences
  • Whatever his motives, North's crusade has made him the idiot savant of big business.
  • It might be said (rather than argued) that only a literary idiot savant like me would need a review to convince me that a graphic novel was worth reading and gave the Novel in general a powerful new direction.
  • She may be illiterate and vapid, but next to him, she's a regular idiot savant marketing genius who cashed in on her B-list celebrity the moment it was about to expire.


French, literally 'knowledgeable idiot'.

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