dumb(redirected from dumbing)
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A stupid, silly, or naïve person, usually used in an affectionate or endearing (if condescending) manner. Ah, don't mind him; he's just a dumb bunny, but he is harmless. Oh, my darling! You are the sweetest dumb bunny I've ever known.
dumb (something) down
To make something less complicated to accommodate a less intelligent, educated, or sophisticated audience. The professor decided to dumb down the course material a bit after most of his class failed the first exam. I think we ought to dumb the play down a bit; after all, most of the people coming to see it won't have a PhD in drama.
To pretend that one has no or little knowledge (of something); to act ignorant or uninformed (about something). I don't think I'm supposed to know that Rick is getting fired, so I'm just going to play dumb the next time I see him. A: "Did Tammy ask you about my date with Steve?" B: "Yeah, but I played dumb about it. I just couldn't handle more of her drama today."
strike (someone) dumb
To render someone speechless, as due to a great surprise or shock. My father's sudden resignation from the company struck each of us dumb.
be struck dumb
To be rendered speechless or dumbfounded, as due to a great surprise or shock. We were all struck dumb by my father's announcement that he was resigning from the company.
a dumb priest never got a parish
You'll never get what you want if you don't ask for it. Although I'm nervous, I'm going to ask my boss for a raise. After all, a dumb priest never got a parish, so what's the worst that can happen if I ask?
1. rude slang Something stupid or trivial. I won't argue with you about this dumb shit for a second longer!
2. rude slang A stupid person. Listen, you dumb shit, I'm in charge here, so you better do what I say! Oh right, like I would listen to him—he's a dumb shit!
3. rude slang Describing someone or something as stupid. In this usage, the term is often hyphenated or spelled as one word. I won't argue with you about this dumbshit idea for a second longer!
To pretend that one has no or little knowledge (of something); to act ignorant or uninformed (about something) I don't think I'm supposed to know that Rick is getting fired, so I'm just going to play ignorant the next time I see him. A: "Did Tammy ask you about my date with Steve?" B: "Yeah, but I played ignorant about it. I just couldn't handle more of her drama today." A: "What vase?" B: "Don't play ignorant with me! You know which one I mean!"
See also: play
deaf and dumb
dated Unable to hear or speak. Although this phrase was once commonly used without any offensive intent, it is no longer considered appropriate. The educational options for those who were once called "deaf and dumb" are now much more plentiful.
(as) dumb as a post
Very stupid. Are you dumb as a post? Why did you think you could fix the washing machine on your own? I used to think that kid was as dumb as a post, but he turned out to be a physicist.
A stupid, flighty woman. Boy, she's a real dumb Dora—how'd she even get this job?
A stupid person. Did you hear that guy's ridiculous question? Geez, what a dumb cluck.
Someone who is large in size and is apt to behave stupidly. Usually used of a man. Can you believe that dumb ox is still pushing the door marked "pull"? Yeah, he's a linebacker for the football team, but he's no dumb ox—he's at the top of his class academically.
1. noun, rude slang Someone who is very stupid. Can you believe that dumb-ass is still pushing the door marked "pull"?
2. adjective, rude slang Describing someone or something that is very stupid. No, we can't do that! Geez, what a dumb-ass idea.
slang Someone who is stupid and/or clumsy. Can you believe that dumbbell is still pushing the door marked "pull"? Of course he broke the vase—that guy is such a dumbbell.
slang Someone who is very stupid. Can you believe that dumb-dodo is still pushing the door marked "pull"?
slang Someone who is very stupid. Can you believe that dum-dum is still pushing the door marked "pull"?
Someone who is very stupid. Can you believe that dumbhead is still pushing the door marked "pull"?
deaf and dumb
unable to hear or speak. (Used without any intended malice, but no longer considered polite. Sometimes euphemized as "hearing and speech impaired.") Fred objected to being called deaf and dumb. Aunt Clara—she was deaf and dumb, you know—lived to be over 100.
How dumb do you think I am?
Inf. Your question is insulting. I am not stupid. (Shows agitation. An answer is not expected or desired.) Mary: Are you really going to sell your new car? Sally: Come on! How dumb do you think I am? Tom: Do you think you could sneak into that theater without paying? Bob: Good grief! How dumb do you think I am?
play ignorantand play dumb
to pretend to be ignorant [of something]. I played ignorant even though I knew about the surprise party. John played dumb when I asked him if he knew who had been on the telephone.
See also: play
A stupid person, as in She was a bit of a dumb bunny but very nice. This expression implies some toleration or endearment of the person. [c. 1920]
dumb as a postAMERICAN, INFORMAL
If you describe someone as dumb as a post, you mean that they are very stupid. She's one of the most famous physicists in the country, and she's dumb as a post!
be struck ˈdumb (with something)be suddenly unable to speak (because of shock, fear, etc.): We were struck dumb at the sight of three armed soldiers in the kitchen. ♢ The witnesses were struck dumb with terror. ▶ ˈdumbstruck adj.: When I found out that I had won first prize, I was dumbstruck.
To simplify something excessively in order to make it suitable for a less educated or less sophisticated audience: The researchers dumbed down the report before releasing it to the public.
n. a stupid person; an oaf. Who’s the dumb bunny in the double-knits?
n. a stupid oaf; a person as stupid as a chicken. Sally is not a dumb cluck, but she is sort of slow.
n. a stupid woman; a giddy woman. Who’s the dumb Dora with the blonde hair and long fingernails?
n. a large and stupid person, usually a man. Do you think I’m going to argue with that big dumb ox?
1. mod. stupid; dumb. (Usually derogatory.) That was a real dumb-ass thing to do. That is so stupid-ass!
2. n. a stupid person. (Rude and derogatory.) Don’t be such a dumb-ass! You know what I mean!
n. a stupid oaf. (Also a rude term of address.) I’m afraid I come on like a dumbbell sometimes.
n. a very stupid person. What a dumb-dodo you are!
n. a stupid oaf; a dullard. Marvin is no dum-dum. He just looks that way.
n. a stupid person. Bob is no dumbhead, but he sure is strange.
dumb down, to
To simplify or otherwise revise in order to appeal to someone of less education, taste, or intelligence. This slangy expression dates from the first half of the 1900s. Publishers Weekly used it in a review of The Business of Books by André Schiffrin: “. . . the attempt to appeal to the lowest common denominator of taste, which has, he says, led network television and movies in such depressing directions, has dumbed down publishing to an alarming degree” (Aug. 21, 2000).
A dimwit female. The phrase was popularized by George Burns and Gracie Allen's vaudeville act in which Gracie played the hysterically illogical character that she later made famous under her own name during the pair's radio and television career. Chic Young, better known for his Blondie comic strip, illustrated a foolish flapper named Dumb Dora. The cartoon lasted under several other illustrators from 1924 till 1935, well before “dumb blonde” became all the rage.