from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Plural form of dunce.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • “When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.”

    The Early Word: Whose Narrative Is It, Anyway? - The Caucus Blog - 2008

  • This is the perfect time to quote another great satirist, Jonathan Swift: “When a true genius appears in this world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. ”

    Think Progress » Fox News Slams Colbert: ‘Inappropriate,’ ‘Over the Line,’ ‘Not Very Funny’ 2006

  • In old days, young men had to study; they didn’t want to be called dunces, so they had to work hard whether they liked it or not.

    Chapter X 1917

  • A much more sensible explanation is that the so-called dunces are not exhausted before they begin the serious business of life.

    Treatise on Parents and Children George Bernard Shaw 1903

  • But this is what the dunces are the last people to realize: indeed, "every man is of importance to himself, and therefore, in his own opinion, to others"; so the victim is the first to "publish injuries or misfortunes which had never been known unless related by himself, and at which those that hear them will only laugh; for no man sympathizes with the sorrows of vanity."

    Dr. Johnson and His Circle John Cann Bailey 1897

  • The world has been very kind to many who were once known as dunces or blockheads, after they have become very successful; but it was very cross to them while they were struggling through discouragement and misinterpretation.

    Pushing to the Front Orison Swett Marden 1887

  • The latter group -- the so-called dunces, include Ronald Reagan, Sarah Palin, Michael Steele and Glenn Beck.

    American Thinker 2010

  • Children who are weak academically and are ridiculed and called dunces, can blossom and earn respect from peers when given the opportunity to excel in sports, or in the creative or performing arts.

    TrinidadExpress Today's News 2008

  • Yes, in case you "dunces" are wondering, I am a life-long Democrat.

    Congress needs to rein in spending, Thune says 2009

  • Here we go again, the traditional class "dunces" still don't get it. - Top Stories 2010


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  • WORD: dunces

    Two EXAMPLES from Jonathan Swift:

    (1) ' When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign; that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. '

    Jonathan Swift. The Battle of the Books and Other Short Pieces, the above quote appearing in his essay "Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting".

    CITE: Wikisource: << >>

    (2) ' This evil fortune, which generally attends extraordinary men in the management of great affairs, has been imputed to divers causes, that need not be here set down, when so obvious a one occurs, if what a certain writer observes be true, that when a great genius appears in the world the dunces are all in confederacy against him. '

    1728 Jonathan Swift. Essay on the Fates of Clergymen.

    CITE: << >>

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    September 12, 2013