[ lit-er-it ]
See synonyms for literate on
  1. able to read and write.

  2. having or showing knowledge of literature, writing, etc.; literary; well-read.

  1. characterized by skill, lucidity, polish, or the like: His writing is literate but cold and clinical.

  2. having knowledge or skill in a specified field: Is she computer literate? The boss needs a computer‐literate assistant.

  3. 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

Other words for literate

Other words from literate

  • lit·er·ate·ly, adverb
  • an·ti·lit·er·ate, adjective, noun
  • an·ti·lit·er·ate·ly, adverb
  • un·lit·er·ate, adjective

Words Nearby literate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use literate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for literate


/ (ˈlɪtərɪt) /

  1. able to read and write

  2. educated; learned

  1. used to words rather than numbers as a means of expression: Compare numerate

  1. a literate person

Origin of literate

C15: from Latin litterātus learned. See letter

Derived forms of literate

  • literately, adverb

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