[uhn-lur-nid for 1, 2, 5; uhn-lurnd for 3, 4]


not learned; not scholarly or erudite.
uneducated; untaught; unschooled; ignorant.
not acquired by instruction, study, etc.
known without being learned.
of or relating to uneducated persons.

Origin of unlearned

First recorded in 1350–1400, unlearned is from the Middle English word unlerned. See un-1, learned
Related formsun·learn·ed·ly, adverb



verb (used with object)

to forget or lose knowledge of.
to discard or put aside certain knowledge as being false or binding: to unlearn preconceptions.

verb (used without object)

to lose or discard knowledge.

Origin of unlearn

First recorded in 1400–50, unlearn is from the late Middle English word unlernen. See un-2, learn
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unlearned

Contemporary Examples of unlearned

Historical Examples of unlearned

  • Old truths have been relearned; untruths have been unlearned.

  • You then, learning what you did not know, were unlearned when you were learning?

  • Then after all the wise are the learners and not the unlearned; and your last answer to Euthydemus was wrong.

  • Then the unlearned learn, and not the wise, Cleinias, as you imagine.

  • The power of his eloquence was felt equally by the learned and the unlearned.

    Patrick Henry

    Moses Coit Tyler

British Dictionary definitions for unlearned



ignorant or untaught
Derived Formsunlearnedly, adverb


verb -learns, -learning, -learned (-ˈlɜːnd) or -learnt

to try to forget (something learnt) or to discard (accumulated knowledge)
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