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May 24, 2015

Word of the Day

  • erudite
  • audio pronunciation
  • \AIR-uh-dyte\
  • DEFINITION

adjective

: having or showing knowledge that is gained by studying : possessing or displaying extensive knowledge acquired chiefly from books

  • EXAMPLE

The university hosted an informative lecture given by an erudite scholar of Cold War history.

"But because the stakes here feel so high—that is, because the Internet has not been the great equalizer we'd hoped it'd be but instead reinforces established winner-take-all systems—a serious, erudite appraisal of social media is exactly what we need right now." — John Wilwol, San Francisco Chronicle, April 5, 2015

  • DID YOU KNOW?

Erudite derives via Middle English erudit from Latin eruditus, the past participle of the verb erudire, meaning "to instruct." A closer look at that verb shows that it is formed by combining the prefix e-, meaning "missing" or "absent," with the adjective rudis, which means "rude" or "ignorant" and is also the source of our word rude. We typically use the word rude to mean "discourteous" or "uncouth," but it can also mean "lacking refinement" or "uncivilized"; someone who is erudite, therefore, has been transformed from a roughened or uninformed state to a polished and knowledgeable one through a devotion to learning.

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