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ignorant

[ig-ner-uh nt]
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adjective
  1. lacking in knowledge or training; unlearned: an ignorant man.
  2. lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact: ignorant of quantum physics.
  3. uninformed; unaware.
  4. due to or showing lack of knowledge or training: an ignorant statement.

Origin of ignorant

1325–75; Middle English ignora(u)nt < Latin ignōrant- (stem of ignōrāns), present participle of ignōrāre to ignore; see -ant
Related formsig·no·rant·ly, adverbig·no·rant·ness, nounnon·ig·no·rant, adjectivenon·ig·no·rant·ly, adverbqua·si-ig·no·rant, adjectivequa·si-ig·no·rant·ly, adverbself-ig·no·rant, adjectivesu·per·ig·no·rant, adjectivesu·per·ig·no·rant·ly, adverbun·ig·no·rant, adjectiveun·ig·no·rant·ly, adverb
Can be confusedignorant stupid

Synonyms

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1. uninstructed, untutored, untaught. Ignorant, illiterate, unlettered, uneducated mean lacking in knowledge or in training. Ignorant may mean knowing little or nothing, or it may mean uninformed about a particular subject: An ignorant person can be dangerous. I confess I'm ignorant of mathematics. Illiterate originally meant lacking a knowledge of literature or similar learning, but is most often applied now to one unable to read or write: necessary training for illiterate soldiers. Unlettered emphasizes the idea of being without knowledge of literature: unlettered though highly trained in science. Uneducated refers especially to lack of schooling or to lack of access to a body of knowledge equivalent to that learned in schools: uneducated but highly intelligent. 2. unenlightened.

Antonyms

1. literate. 2. learned.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ignorant

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Her parents knew of this fact, but mine were ignorant of it.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • While I have gathered foreign jewels, I have been ignorant of the gems in my own family.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • That matron, like most Grecian women, was ignorant of her own written language.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • Whether I will be permitted again to look upon your dear faces, I also am ignorant.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • The danger of the control of an ignorant electorate has therefore passed.


British Dictionary definitions for ignorant

ignorant

adjective
  1. lacking in knowledge or education; unenlightened
  2. (postpositive often foll by of) lacking in awareness or knowledge (of)ignorant of the law
  3. resulting from or showing lack of knowledge or awarenessan ignorant remark
Derived Formsignorantly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ignorant

adj.

late 14c., from Old French ignorant (14c.), from Latin ignorantia, from ignorantem (nominative ignorans), present participle of ignorare "not to know, to be unacquainted; mistake, misunderstand; take no notice of, pay no attention to," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + Old Latin gnarus "aware, acquainted with" (cf. Classical Latin noscere "to know," notus "known"), from Proto-Latin suffixed form *gno-ro-, related to gnoscere "to know" (see know).

Form influenced by Latin ignotus "unknown." Cf. also uncouth. Colloquial sense of "ill-mannered" first attested 1886. As a noun meaning "ignorant person" from mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper