adjective lit·er·ate \ˈli-tə-rət also ˈli-trət\

: able to read and write

: having or showing knowledge about a particular subject

Full Definition of LITERATE

a :  educated, cultured
b :  able to read and write
a :  versed in literature or creative writing :  literary
b :  lucid, polished <a literate essay>
c :  having knowledge or competence <computer-literate> <politically literate>
lit·er·ate·ly adverb
lit·er·ate·ness noun

Examples of LITERATE

  1. She is literate in both English and Spanish.
  2. What percentage of the population is literate?
  3. The job requires you to be computer literate.

Origin of LITERATE

Middle English literat, from Latin litteratus marked with letters, literate, from litterae letters, literature, from plural of littera
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Literature Terms

apophasis, bathos, bildungsroman, bowdlerize, caesura, coda, doggerel, euphemism, poesy, prosody



Definition of LITERATE

:  an educated person
:  a person who can read and write

First Known Use of LITERATE

circa 1550

Other Education Terms

baccalaureate, colloquium, corequisite, dissertation, monograph, pedant, practicum, survey course, thesis
LITERATENESS Defined for Kids


adjective lit·er·ate \ˈli-tə-rət\

Definition of LITERATE for Kids

:  able to read and write
:  having gotten a good education


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