English Dictionary

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dunce (dʌns Pronunciation for dunce



  1. a person who is stupid or slow to learn

Derived Forms

ˈdunceˌlike adjective

Word Origin

C16: from Dunses or Dunsmen, term of ridicule applied to the followers of John Duns Scotus, especially by 16th-century humanists


View thesaurus entry
= simpleton, moron, duffer, bonehead, loon, goose, ass, donkey, oaf, dullard, dimwit, ignoramus, nitwit, dolt, blockhead, halfwit, nincompoop, fathead, dunderhead, lamebrain, thickhead, numbskull or numskull

Example Sentences Including 'dunce'

"It had also been the first time he'd worn the dunce cap and stood in the corner.
Andy had wedged his head into an album sleeve and was wearing it like a dunce 's cap. He said again, `Naked men's buttocks.
David Cavanagh MUSIC FOR BOYS (2003)
As well as the dunce 's hat, they strapped a wooden plaque to my chest with iron bands, with my whole history written on it.
Craig, Mary Tears of Blood - A Cry for Tibet
Perhaps the Australian Cricket Board should make him stand in a corner with a dunce cap on instead.
Misc (1999)
`For many years, they have had the ` dunce of the week" for the player who does the silliest thing that week.
Misc (1999)
`I am Judy Reeves, and this dunce is my brother," she announced.
Adair, Tom (Intro) Three Kinds of Kissing - Scottish Short Stories


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