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literate

[lit-er-it]
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adjective
  1. able to read and write.
  2. having or showing knowledge of literature, writing, etc.; literary; well-read.
  3. characterized by skill, lucidity, polish, or the like: His writing is literate but cold and clinical.
  4. having knowledge or skill in a specified field: Is she computer literate? The boss needs a computer‐literate assistant.
  5. having an education; educated.
noun
  1. a person who can read and write.
  2. a learned person.

Origin of literate

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin līterātus, litterātus learned, scholarly. See letter1, -ate1
Related formslit·er·ate·ly, adverban·ti·lit·er·ate, adjective, nounan·ti·lit·er·ate·ly, adverbun·lit·er·ate, adjective

Synonyms

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3, 5. well-informed, knowledgeable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unliterate

Historical Examples

  • The literary critic, Francis Hackett, somewhere speaks of "the enormous gap between the literate and unliterate American."

    The American Language

    Henry L. Mencken


British Dictionary definitions for unliterate

literate

adjective
  1. able to read and write
  2. educated; learned
  3. used to words rather than numbers as a means of expressionCompare numerate
noun
  1. a literate person
Derived Formsliterately, adverb

Word Origin

C15: from Latin litterātus learned. See letter
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 unliterate

literate

adj.

"educated, instructed," early 15c., from Latin literatus/litteratus "educated, learned," literally "one who knows the letters," formed in imitation of Greek grammatikos from Latin littera/litera "letter" (see letter (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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