dunce

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dunceaskance, expanse, finance, Hans, Hanse, manse, nance, Penzance, Romance •underpants • happenstance •advance, Afrikaans, à outrance, chance, dance, enhance, entrance, faience, France, glance, lance, mischance, outdance, perchance, prance, Provence, stance, trance •nuance • tap-dance • square dance •freelance • convenance •cense, commence, common sense, condense, dense, dispense, expense, fence, hence, Hortense, immense, offence (US offense), pence, prepense, pretence (US pretense), sense, spence, suspense, tense, thence, whence •ring-fence • recompense •frankincense •chintz, convince, evince, Linz, mince, Port-au-Prince, prince, quince, rinse, since, Vince, wince •province •bonce, ensconce, nonce, ponce, response, sconce •séance • pièce de résistance •announce, bounce, denounce, flounce, fluid ounce, jounce, mispronounce, ounce, pounce, pronounce, renounce, trounce •dunce, once

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dunce a foolish or ignorant person; originally an epithet for a follower of John Duns Scotus, whose adherents were ridiculed by 16th-century humanists and reformers as enemies of learning.
dunce's cap a paper cone formerly put on the head of a dunce at school as a mark of disgrace; the expression is recorded from the mid 19th century.

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dunce †disciple of Duns Scotus; dull pedant; dullard, blockhead XVI. orig. Duns, name of John Duns Scotus (d. 1308), scholastic theologian, whose disciples formed a predominant scholastic sect at the universities until they were attacked by the humanists and reformers; occurring first in phr. Duns men, Dunces disciples.

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dunce / dəns/ • n. a person who is slow at learning; a stupid person.

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