having or demonstrating very little or no education.
showing lack of culture, especially in language and literature.
displaying a marked lack of knowledge in a particular field: He is musically illiterate.
an illiterate person.
Origin of illiterate
First recorded in 1550–60,illiterate is from the Latin word illiterātus unlettered. See il-2, literate
Related formsil·lit·er·ate·ly, adverbil·lit·er·ate·ness, nounsem·i-il·lit·er·ate, adjectivesem·i-il·lit·er·ate·ly, adverbsem·i-il·lit·er·ate·ness, nounCan be confusedillegibleilliterateunreadableilliterateinnumerate
early 15c., "uneducated, unable to read (originally of Latin)," from Latin illiteratus "unlearned, unlettered, ignorant; without culture, inelegant," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + literatus, literally "furnished with letters" (see literate). As a noun meaning "illiterate person" from 1620s. Hence, illiterati (1788).