[ lit-er-it ]
/ ˈlɪt ər ɪt /



a person who can read and write.
a learned person.

Origin of literate

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin līterātus, litterātus learned, scholarly. See letter1, -ate1

Related forms

lit·er·ate·ly, adverban·ti·lit·er·ate, adjective, nounan·ti·lit·er·ate·ly, adverbun·lit·er·ate, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for literate

British Dictionary definitions for literate


/ (ˈlɪtərɪt) /


able to read and write
educated; learned
used to words rather than numbers as a means of expressionCompare numerate


a literate person

Derived Forms

literately, 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