the quality or state of being literate, especially the ability to read and write.
possession of education: to question someone's literacy.
a person's knowledge of a particular subject or field: to acquire computer literacy; improving your financial literacy.

Origin of literacy

First recorded in 1880–85; liter(ate) + -acy
Related formsan·ti·lit·er·a·cy, adjective

Synonyms for literacy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for literacy

Contemporary Examples of literacy

Historical Examples of literacy

British Dictionary definitions for literacy



the ability to read and write
the ability to use language proficiently
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 literacy

1883, formed in English from literate + -cy. Illiteracy, however, dates back to 17c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper