[sem-ee-lit-er-it, sem-ahy-]


barely able to read and write.
capable of reading but not writing.
literate but poorly skilled or informed; lacking the proficiency of a literate person.


a person who is semiliterate.

Origin of semiliterate

First recorded in 1925–30; semi- + literate
Related formssem·i·lit·er·a·cy [sem-ee-lit-er-uh-see, sem-ahy-] /ˌsɛm iˈlɪt ər ə si, ˌsɛm aɪ-/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Contemporary Examples of semiliterate

British Dictionary definitions for semiliterate



hardly able to read or write
able to read but not to write
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