[ lit-uh-rah-tee ]
/ ˌlɪt əˈrɑ ti /

plural noun, singular lit·e·ra·tus [lit-uh-rah-tuh s,] /ˌlɪt əˈrɑ təs,/.

persons of scholarly or literary attainments; intellectuals.

Origin of literati

1615–25; < Latin līterāti learned, scholarly people, noun use of plural of līterātus. See literate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for literati

British Dictionary definitions for literati


/ (ˌlɪtəˈrɑːtiː) /

pl n

literary or scholarly people

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for literati



"men and women of letters; the learned class as a whole," 1620s, from Latin literati/litterati, plural of literatus/litteratus "lettered" (see literate). The proper singular would be literatus, though Italian literato (1704) sometimes is used.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper