[ er-yoo-dish-uhn, er-oo- ]
/ ˌɛr yʊˈdɪʃ ən, ˌɛr ʊ- /
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knowledge acquired by study, research, etc.; learning; scholarship.
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Origin of erudition

First recorded in1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin ērudītiōn- (stem of ērudītiō ) “an instruction.” See erudite, -ion

synonym study for erudition

See learning.


er·u·di·tion·al, adjectivenon·er·u·di·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What is erudition?

Erudition is knowledge obtained through study or research, as in Students gain erudition through reading and studying. 

Erudition is similar to such words as knowledge, learning, or scholarship. However, erudition is often used to mean that a person specifically acquired some kind of profound knowledge by extensively reading books, researching reports, or studying manuscripts. For this reason, erudition is typically used to refer to knowledge of topics such as theology or linguistics rather than math or physical sciences.

Erudition comes from the adjective erudite, which describes something that is full of knowledge or that is scholarly.

Example: The monk was known for his wisdom and erudition, having read every book in the monastery’s 1,000-year-old library.

Where does erudition come from?

The first records of the word erudition come from around 1350. It ultimately comes from the Latin word ērudītiō, meaning “an instruction.” We often use the word erudition to refer to learning acquired through the self-instruction that comes from studying books.

Erudition is not a commonly used word. Instead you will hear people use words like knowledge, bookishness, or book smarts. Erudition is most likely to be used by someone with a big vocabulary or who wants to use a word to sound smart.

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What are some other forms related to erudition?

  • eruditional (adjective)
  • nonerudition (noun)

What are some synonyms for erudition?

What are some words that share a root or word element with erudition

What are some words that often get used in discussing erudition?

How is erudition used in real life?

Erudition is not a common word. When it’s used, it’s often to show off or sound smart.

Try using erudition!

Is erudition used correctly in the following sentence?

The rabbi credited his erudition to the many books he had read on Jewish scripture.

How to use erudition in a sentence