Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A hunter.
  • n. Informal A person regarded as silly, foolish, or stupid.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A silly or foolish person; An idiot.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Old Testament) a famous hunter

Etymologies

After Nimrod. Sense 2, probably from the phrase "poor little Nimrod,” used by the cartoon character Bugs Bunny to mock the hapless hunter Elmer Fudd.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
In most English-speaking countries, Nimrod is used to describe a hunter or warrior, after the biblical character of Nimrod, who is described as "a mighty hunter". (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • A larcenous and a greedy habit,
    To covet honor and falsely grab it.
    So the name of Nimrod
    Is filched by a dim clod,
    Whose goal is only: "Kill the wabbit!"

    I am surprised by the prevalence of the “foolish person, idiot” connotation of this word. I knew it only as a metonym for “hunter.” The legendary Nimrod seems to have been incarnated several times as hunter, rebel, tyrant, and giant, but he was nobody’s fool. If it is true that its use to mean foolish person has become commonplace as a result of its application to Elmer Fudd in Looney Tunes cartoons my guess is that “poor little Nimrod” was misinterpreted by naïve listeners (that is, children) to have some affinity with words such as “dimwit,” “numskull” or “dickwad.” It sounds like it should be a scornful epithet.


    March 29, 2014

  • A word about Nimrod. Very interesting. Being Hungarian born , I know, that the noun is a personal noun, and not even any kind, but belongs to group oƒ one of our early heroes,as early, as the year 900. Two questions, how did it happened that our Hungarian national figure serves as an american entertaining figure, the second is, how is it that it is not found in the etymological section?Hm....Gabi

    September 7, 2009