[ lit-uh-rah-tee ]
See synonyms for literati on
plural noun,singular lit·e·ra·tus [lit-uh-rah-tuhs, ‐rey‐]. /ˌlɪt əˈrɑ təs, ‐ˈreɪ‐/.
  1. people engaged in literary pursuits, especially professional writers: The lounge at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City was a well-known haunt of the literati during the 1920s.

  2. learned people and scholars considered as a class:university literati in their ivory tower.

Origin of literati

First recorded in 1615–25; from Latin līterāti, litterāti “learned, liberally educated people,” noun use of plural of līterātus, litterātus; see origin at literate

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

How to use literati in a sentence

  • These questions I heard proposed in a company of literati, when I inquired concerning this design of Warton.

  • He sought the acquaintance of the brilliant and the learned, presiding over a côterie of painters, sculptors, and literati.

    Lola Montez | Edmund B. d'Auvergne
  • Thomas--Kempis was but the forerunner of a race of distinguished literati.

    Vondel's Lucifer | Joost van den Vondel

British Dictionary definitions for literati


/ (ˌlɪtəˈrɑːtiː) /

pl n
  1. literary or scholarly people

Origin of literati

C17: from Latin

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