noun plural \ˌli-tə-ˈrä-(ˌ)tē\

Definition of LITERATI

:  the educated class; also :  intelligentsia
:  persons interested in literature or the arts

Examples of LITERATI

  1. <Boston's 19th-century literati often referred to their city as the Athens of America.>

Origin of LITERATI

obsolete Italian litterati, from Latin, plural of litteratus
First Known Use: 1621

Other Literature Terms

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

Rhymes with LITERATI


   (Concise Encyclopedia)

Scholars in China and Japan whose poetry, calligraphy, and paintings were supposed primarily to reveal their cultivation and express their personal feelings rather than demonstrate professional skill. The concept of literati painters was first formulated in China in the Northern Song dynasty but was enduringly codified in the Ming dynasty by Dong Qichang. In the 18th–19th century, literati painting became popular with the Japanese, who exaggerated elements of Chinese composition and brushwork. See also Ike no Taiga.


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