View synonyms for illiteracy


[ ih-lit-er-uh-see ]


, plural il·lit·er·a·cies
  1. a lack of ability to read and write.
  2. the state of being illiterate; lack of any or enough education.
  3. a mistake in writing or speaking, felt to be characteristic of an illiterate or semiliterate person:

    a letter that was full of illiteracies.

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Other Words From

  • semi-il·liter·a·cy noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of illiteracy1

First recorded in 1650–60; illiter(ate) + -acy
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Example Sentences

Hacks and ransomware attacks depend in part on data illiteracy.

From Time

It’s a cynical effort to weaponize the illiteracy and the lack of knowledge in this country generally about race, racism and the law.

Through the game, players learn how media illiteracy can make all of us unwitting accomplices in spreading fake news.

From Ozy

They suffer sky-high maternal mortality rates, illiteracy, and a daily struggle against violence and poverty.

It is all a result of segregated communities where illiteracy is rife and the men think they can get away with anything.

The community suffers from significant illiteracy, poverty, unemployment, and crime.

The greatest barrier to improvement is probably adult illiteracy.

Indeed the state of Kentucky, facing staggering rates of adult illiteracy, recently began these programs in early elementary.

She made up the envelope to match and addressed it, with consistent illiteracy, to the head of the mission.

There is no ground for an explanation of such errors 207 as these except laziness and grossest illiteracy.

Other branches of the family bearing the surname had gone to seed and lapsed into illiteracy.

The illiteracy for all Negro children was 25 per cent, whereas the illiteracy for all white children was only 10.5 per cent.

Illiteracy which in 1863 equaled about 95 per cent of the Negro population has been decreasing rapidly since the Civil War.


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