Simple Definition of erudite
: having or showing knowledge that is learned by studying
Full Definition of erudite
: having or showing knowledge that is gained by studying : possessing or displaying erudition <an erudite scholar>
Examples of erudite in a sentence
He wasn't bashful about showing himself to be feverishly erudite, … terminally droll, and a wizard phrasemaker. —Susan Sontag, New Yorker, 18 & 25 June 2001
… an engaging fellow: erudite, entertaining, intolerant of trendiness and fearlessly old-fashioned. … He can turn a nice phrase, too. —Mordecai Richler, Wall Street Journal, 2 May 1995
He was well read, especially in the works of Kipling, a field in which Violet could give him a game, and from time to time they would exchange erudite letters about Kipling characters. —Anthony Powell, The Strangers All are Gone, 1982
<the most erudite people in medical research attended the conference>
<an erudite lecture on the latest discoveries in astronomy>
Did You Know?
Erudite derives via Middle English "erudite" 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.
Origin of erudite
Middle English erudit, from Latin eruditus, from past participle of erudire to instruct, from e- + rudis rude, ignorant
First Known Use: 15th century
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