• synonyms


[ig-nuh-rey-muhs, -ram-uhs]
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noun, plural ig·no·ra·mus·es.
  1. an extremely ignorant person.
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Origin of ignoramus

1570–80; < Latin ignōrāmus we ignore (1st person plural present indicative of ignōrāre to be ignorant of, ignore); hence name of an ignorant lawyer in the play Ignoramus (1615) by the English playwright G. Ruggle, whence current sense

Synonyms for ignoramus

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ignoramus

fool, dunce, idiot, blockhead, imbecile, moron, dimwit, know-nothing, numbskull

Examples from the Web for ignoramus

Contemporary Examples of ignoramus

Historical Examples of ignoramus

  • But I am only an ignoramus, and certainly failed to understand everything in it.

  • Here is an ignoramus, and Dogberry is placed on the judge's bench.

  • From this Claude went on to remark with asperity that Murillo painted like an ignoramus.

  • The other women agreed with him, and snubbed the ignoramus, who retired from the controversy.

    Things as They Are

    Amy Wilson-Carmichael

  • Which does not by any means prove that young Tom was an ignoramus.

    Rim o' the World

    B. M. Bower

British Dictionary definitions for ignoramus


noun plural -muses
  1. an ignorant person; fool
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Word Origin for ignoramus

C16: from legal Latin, literally: we have no knowledge of, from Latin ignōrāre to be ignorant of; see ignore; modern usage originated from the use of Ignoramus as the name of an unlettered lawyer in a play by G. Ruggle, 17th-century English dramatist
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 ignoramus


1570s, from an Anglo-French legal term (early 15c.), from Latin ignoramus "we do not know," first person present indicative of ignorare "not to know" (see ignorant). The legal term was one a grand jury could write on a bill when it considered the prosecution's evidence insufficient. Sense of "ignorant person" came from the title role of George Ruggle's 1615 play satirizing the ignorance of common lawyers.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper