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3 definitions found
 for dunce
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Dunce \Dunce\, n. [From Joannes Duns Scotus, a schoolman called
     the Subtle Doctor, who died in 1308. Originally in the phrase
     "a Duns man". See Note below.]
     One backward in book learning; a child or other person dull
     or weak in intellect; a dullard; a dolt.
     [1913 Webster]
  
           I never knew this town without dunces of figure.
                                                    --Swift.
     [1913 Webster]
  
     Note: The schoolmen were often called, after their great
           leader Duns Scotus, Dunsmen or Duncemen. In the revival
           of learning they were violently opposed to classical
           studies; hence, the name of Dunce was applied with
           scorn and contempt to an opposer of learning, or to one
           slow at learning, a dullard.
           [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  dunce
      n 1: a stupid person; these words are used to express a low
           opinion of someone's intelligence [syn: dunce,
           dunderhead, numskull, blockhead, bonehead,
           lunkhead, hammerhead, knucklehead, loggerhead,
           muttonhead, shithead, dumbass, fuckhead]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  61 Moby Thesaurus words for "dunce":
     Boeotian, block, blockhead, bonehead, boob, booby, bufflehead,
     cabbagehead, chowderhead, chucklehead, chump, clod, clodpate,
     clodpoll, cluck, dabbler, dilettante, dimwit, dodo, dolt, dolthead,
     donkey, dope, drip, duffer, dullard, dullhead, dumb, dumb cluck,
     dumbbell, dummy, fool, gowk, greenhorn, greeny, ignoramus,
     illiterate, illiterati, jobbernowl, know-nothing, lackwit,
     lamebrain, lightweight, looby, loon, lowbrow, middlebrow, niais,
     nincompoop, ninny, ninnyhammer, nitwit, no scholar, noddy,
     puddinghead, put, stupid, tenderfoot, thickwit, unintelligentsia,
     witling
  
  

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