Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
?Note: This page may contain content that is offensive or inappropriate for some readers.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
A person who talks excessively without making sense or saying anything of importance, sarcastically and derogatorily likened to someone with a mental deficiency. Maurice just rattled on and on like a babbling idiot last night about his schemes to get rich. I must have sounded like a babbling idiot from the way I talked about the new house.
cliché An utter fool; an especially stupid person. You blithering idiot! You completely screwed up the machinery! I swear, the board of directors must be made up of a bunch of blithering idiots, considering the direction this company is headed.
slang In broadcasting, a card or board that displays the text that someone is to recite; a cue card. I don't need one of those idiot cards, thank you very much—I have the whole thing memorized.
Mittens or gloves that are attached to one's sleeves by a length of yarn or string so as to prevent their being lost. I always hated the idiot gloves my mom made me wear when I was a kid. They made me feel like such a dope!
slang A type of alcoholic drink made in prisons, usually with nutmeg and water. This idiot juice is pretty disgusting, but it's all we've got.
slang A warning light on the dashboard of an automobile meant to alert the driver to a potential problem, such as engine trouble, low fuel, overheating, etc. See? You ignore the idiot light, and the car ends up breaking down in the middle of nowhere.
Mittens or gloves that are attached to one's sleeves by a length of yarn or string so as to prevent their being lost. I always hated the idiot mittens my mom made me wear when I was a kid. They made me feel like such a dope!
slang Barbiturates (a type of sedative drug). Idiot pills are dangerous, man—I'd stay away from them.
take (one) for (something)
1. To presume or believe that one is a certain type of person. Huh. I didn't take you for the lying type. I'd advise you not to take her for a fool. She may play dumb, but she's very crafty.
2. To swindle, cheat, or defraud someone out of something, especially some amount of money. When all was said and done, that no-good lawyer took us for thousands of dollars.
3. To bring someone (to some location) in order to treat them to something. The boss said he would take us for pizza at the end of the week. Let's take the kids for ice cream tomorrow.
take (one) for a fool
To presume or believe that one is very stupid or foolish. I'd advise you not to take her for a fool. She may play dumb, but she's very crafty.
take (one) for an idiot
To presume or believe that one is very stupid or foolish. I'd advise you not to take her for an idiot. She may play dumb, but she's very crafty. Do you take me for an idiot? There's no way I'm falling for that again.
take (one) for dead
To mistakenly assume or believe that one is dead. The bandits took the woman for dead, but she survived and swore revenge against them all. I took the creature for dead, but it leaped up and bit me on the arm when I approached it.
the idiot box
slang A television set, or television in general. We need to start encouraging our children to play outside, instead of just spending hours in front of the idiot box. It saddens me that people would rather watch the idiot box than explore the world around them.
Someone known for being stupid or foolish. I know I've made some big mistakes in the past and everyone in town sees me as the village idiot, but I'm not that girl anymore—I've grown up.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
take someone for an idiot and take someone for a fool
to assume that someone is stupid. I wouldn't do anything like that! Do you take me for an idiot? I don't take you for a fool. I think you're very clever.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
A television set, as in There they sit in front of the idiot box, hour after hour. This slangy and pejorative expression dates from about 1960.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
n. a television set. You spend too much time watching the idiot box.
n. a large card that shows people on television what to say. The floor director held up an idiot card so I could read out the telephone number.
idiot juiceand idiotic (ˈɪdiət dʒus and ɪdiˈɑdɪk)
n. a mixture of ground nutmeg and water. (Prisons.) Somehow a bunch of these guys got hold of some idiot juice.
n. a light (instead of a meter) on a car’s dashboard that indicates the state of various things concerning the operation of the car. (Alludes to these lights’ elimination of the knowledge required to interpret a meter reading, making them suitable for idiots.) I don’t want idiot lights. I want meters!
n. liquor; alcohol. She drinks too much of that idiot oil.
n. barbiturates. (Drugs.) Lay off those idiot pills, why don’t you?
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
A senseless babbler. This term owes its origin to the Scots dialect verb to blether, meaning to talk nonsense, with blither being a variant spelling. Combining it with “idiot” began in the late 1800s. It appeared in the British humor magazine Punch in 1889: “I’ll state pretty clearly that his son is a blithering idiot.”
A television set. The term dates from about 1950 and obviously is a derogatory take on the medium of television. For example, “It’s a shame her kids have no supervision and just sit, hour after hour, in front of the idiot box.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer