• synonyms


[lit-uh-rah-tuh s, -rey-]
  1. singular of literati.
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plural noun, singular lit·e·ra·tus [lit-uh-rah-tuh s,] /ˌlɪt əˈrɑ təs,/.
  1. persons of scholarly or literary attainments; intellectuals.
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Origin of literati

1615–25; < Latin līterāti learned, scholarly people, noun use of plural of līterātus. See literate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for literatus

Historical Examples

  • The literatus who realized this had his own message in mind.

    Drum Taps

    Walt Whitman

  • Huc advolarunt tres viri, duo lanifices, literarum rudes, literatus tertius est.

  • This species is closely allied to the M. literatus of Brullé; but it differs too much, I think, to be identical with it.

  • The school of the literatus was much better than that of the literator, but it reached only a limited number of the Roman youth.

British Dictionary definitions for literatus


pl n
  1. literary or scholarly people
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Word Origin

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 literatus



"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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper