idiot savant

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idiot savant

n. pl. idiot savants
Often Offensive A person with savant syndrome; a savant.

[French : idiot, idiot + savant, learned.]

idiot savant

(ˈiːdjəʊ sæˈvɑ̃; ˈɪdɪət ˈsævənt)
n, pl idiots savants (ˈiːdjəʊ sæˈvɑ̃) or idiot savants
(Psychiatry) a person with learning difficulties who performs brilliantly at some specialized intellectual task, such as giving the day of the week for any calendar date past or present
[C19: from French: knowledgeable idiot]

id•i•ot sa•vant

(ˈɪd i ət səˈvɑnt, sæ-; Fr. i dyoʊ saˈvɑ̃)

n., pl. idiot savants, Fr. id•iots sa•vants (i dyoʊ saˈvɑ̃)
a mentally defective person with an exceptional skill or talent in a special field, as a highly developed ability to play music or to do arithmetic calculations.
[1925–30; < French: literally, learned idiot]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.idiot savant - person who is mentally retarded in general but who displays remarkable aptitude in some limited field (usually involving memory)
simpleton, simple - a person lacking intelligence or common sense
References in periodicals archive ?
Some passages begin in generality: "Misfits and idiot savants, coveters of weapons-related data, fundamentalists, borderline personalities, pot smokers, people who fell through the cracks of a franchise-fueled economy; these were the guardians of the atomic age.
We want to create algorithms that know an awful lot about very little - you know, idiot savants.
The criticism is justified, for the doctoral departments have become wastelands of competitive conformity turning out idiot savants in mathematics who know virtually nothing of practical policy, institutional reality, or historical change.