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The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.



idiot n

: a person with esp. profound mental retardation NOTE: While the terms idiot imbecile, and moron survive in many state codes and statutes, they are generally no longer used in both medical and legal contexts. The modern terminology distinguishes between mild, moderate, severe, and profound levels of retardation. Historically persons with mental retardation have suffered legal disabilities (as in not being allowed to marry or vote). Generally today, an adult with mental retardation who is his or her own guardian does not suffer these disabilities.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

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