Simple vs Simpleton: Difference and Comparison

English is the most spoken language all around the globe. As a result, confusion between similar-sounding words is very common.

There are many words in the language that may sound similar at first but differ entirely in their meaning. Two such words are simple and simpleton.

Key Takeaways

  1. “Simple” is an adjective describing something or someone as straightforward, uncomplicated, or easy to understand.
  2. “Simpleton” is a noun that refers to a person lacking intelligence, wisdom, or common sense.
  3. Both terms can carry a negative connotation when used to describe people, but “simple” has neutral and positive meanings in other contexts.

Simple vs Simpleton

Simple is an adjective that describes something that is easy to understand, uncomplicated, or plain. A simpleton is a person who is considered foolish, naive, or lacking in intelligence, and is not used in polite conversation. It has a negative connotation of being foolish or lacking intelligence.

Simple vs Simpleton

Simple is an adjective that gives detailed information about the noun that it is representing. Various meanings define the word simple, such as single, not complex, plain, mere, entire, etc.

Simple can also be used as an adverb. Additionally, like many other adjectives, simple can be changed into three degrees of comparison.

Simpleton, on the other hand, is a noun. Simpleton is defined as a person with a weak intellect or a silly person. Simpleton is used as a label for certain people to signify a trait in them.

Moreover, simpleton is also used for people who can understand only simple things.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSimpleSimpleton
OriginMid 16th century from the Latin word ‘Simplus’.Mid 17th century from simple.
Part of SpeechAdjectiveNoun
SyllablesIt comprises two syllables.It comprises three syllables.
The Purposeused to complement a noun or an action.To define something or someone’s quality or trait.
Forms of UseIt can be used as an adverb and an adjective with three degrees of comparison.It can only be used in its original form.

What is Simple?

Simple is a word that originated in the mid 16th century. It was derived from the Latin word ‘Simplus’, which means simple in English.

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Simple is an adjective that is used to complement an action or a noun. Simple can have variable meanings to various nouns depending upon what it is representing.

The various meanings that define simple are single, not complex, mere, plain, unwise, weak in intellect, etc.

Simple comprises two syllables, including sim-ple. The pronunciation of simple is sim-pul. Not only in English sentences but simple is also used in various other domains such as accounting, mathematics, chemistry, etc.

Since simple is an adjective, it can be used in other forms, such as an adverb and also as an adjective of three degrees of comparison.

According to the notation, ‘simple’ is the basic form of the adjective, ‘simpler’ is the comparative form of the adjective, and ‘simplest’ is the superlative form of the adjective.

Simple can be used in sentences as an adverb to compare or as an adjective to complement a noun. For example:

  1. This work is simple enough that even a child can do it.
  2. A visit to his elementary school reminded him of simpler times.
  3. Rainwater harvesting is the simplest method to save water.

What is Simpleton?

Simpleton is a word that was first used in 1630. It originated from the adjective ‘Simple’. Simpleton is a noun with a slightly variable meaning depending on its representation.

Simpleton is used to define a person with weak or silly intellect and It is used as a label to define a certain person’s silly trait.

Additionally, it can be used for a person who only likes or understands simplicity in everything. This word is used as an insult to the comparatively not-too-sharp person.

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Simpleton comprises three syllables, including sim-ple-ton. The pronunciation of simpleton is sim-pul-tun. In addition, simpleton is a combination of two words – ‘simple’ and ‘ton’.

The second part of the word, ‘ton’ is an ending in several surnames, a deduction from the word ‘town. Since simpleton is a noun, it has only one original form and no other forms.

Simple can be used in sentences to identify, insult, or point out someone’s trait. For example:

  1. The merest simpleton could have easily drawn the conclusion.
  2. When the little dog appeared to him, the kind simpleton shared his meal.
  3. It’s a simple drama, but it was definitely not made by any simpletons.

Main Differences Between Simple and Simpleton

  1. In the parts of speech, simple is an adjective, whereas simpleton is a noun.
  2. Simple comprises two syllables, while simpleton is comprised of three syllables.
  3. Simple can be used in the form of both adjective and adverb, but simpleton can only be used in its original form.
  4. Simple is only a single word that was derived from Latin, whereas simpleton is a combination of two english words.
  5. Simple is also used in other domains of study, including mathematics, chemistry, etc., whereas simpleton is specific to English only.
Difference Between Simple and Simpleton

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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