Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR DUNCE

Fowell learnt very little at school, and was regarded as a dunce and an idler.

He was long described by his Spartan mother, who thought him a dunce, as only ‘food for powder.’

The world's a father to a Dunce unknown, And much he thrives, for Dulness!

A fool, a dunce, or a bad man does harm and not good in the world.

After all, Harry was no dunce, but he was not yet convinced.

Some asked whether he could say his alphabet yet; and others whether he could spell "dunce."

Of course he was a dunce, for how could he chatter and learn as well?

What a dear old darling of a dunce you are, John, to be sure!

"I believe the dunce speaks the truth," broke in Jack Rasco.

That dunce is with her on a few days vacation from a school for the feeble-minded.

WORD ORIGIN

"dullard," 1570s, from earlier Duns disciple "follower of John Duns Scotus" (c.1265-1308), Scottish scholar of philosophy and theology supposed to have been born at Duns in Berwickshire. By 16c., humanist reaction against medieval theology singled him out as the type of the hairsplitting scholastic. It became a general term of reproach applied to more conservative philosophical opponents by 1520s, later extended to any dull-witted student.

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Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.