1. A weight consisting of a short bar with a metal ball or disk at each end that is lifted for muscular development and exercise.
2. Slang A stupid person; a dolt.
[From an apparatus similar to that used in ringing a church bell, but without the bell, used for practice or physical exercise.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.