See more synonyms for literate on
  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.
  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 for literate

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for literate

Contemporary Examples of literate

Historical Examples of literate

British Dictionary definitions for literate


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

Word Origin for literate

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 literate

"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