er·​u·​dite | \ˈer-ə-ˌdīt, ˈer-yə- \

Definition of erudite 

: having or showing knowledge that is gained by studying : possessing or displaying erudition an erudite scholar

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Other Words from erudite

eruditely adverb

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.

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
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Recent Examples on the Web

And so is an erudite, closely reasoned defense of those ideas: An apostle can help explain a messiah. Andrew Stuttaford, WSJ, "‘Marx and Marxism’ and ‘A World to Win’ Review: Better Dead Than Read," 5 July 2018 Nur’s erudite Persian father, Ghiyas Beg, was among the latter. Maxwell Carter, WSJ, "‘Empress’ Review: Light of the Mughal World," 13 July 2018 In memories from her childhood, Stern writes with a erudite elegance that a kid simply wouldn't have – even one who grew up in a sophisticated household and attended private school. Zlati Meyer, USA TODAY, "'Little Panic': How the Etan Patz kidnapping terrorized author Amanda Stern," 10 July 2018 But the series is clear about how much of a problem the eccentric, bisexual, erudite Peterson is for the jurors. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Queasy Verdict of The Staircase," 26 June 2018 Prine's long been a critical favorite, and early on caught the attention of esteemed peers including Kris Kristofferson, who was among the first to champion the erudite songs that allowed Prine to quit his day job as a mail carrier in Chicago. Randy Lewis,, "John Prine is still singing about heaven and mortality — and sounding as vital as ever," 16 May 2018 The book, which followed a young girl maneuvering an erudite, perhaps dangerous high-school experience, won literary prizes and became a New York Times bestseller. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Marisha Pessl's Neverworld Wake Is the Preppy Thriller Everyone Will Be Reading This Summer," 8 June 2018 Take away those erudite writing-program authors in their tasteful cardigans. Deirdre Donahue, USA TODAY, "Our review: Anthony Bourdain's 'Kitchen Confidential' captured restaurants' demented glory," 8 June 2018 If lovers of erudite 2000s indie rock aren’t satisfied after taking in sets from Dirty Projectors (3:10 p.m.) and the Decemberists (6:05 p.m.), then the proggy, folky goodness of Fleet Foxes (7:55 p.m.) ought to do the trick. Terence Cawley,, "Too many choices at Boston Calling? Here’s some help.," 23 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'erudite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of erudite

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for erudite

Middle English erudit, from Latin eruditus, from past participle of erudire to instruct, from e- + rudis rude, ignorant

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Time Traveler for erudite

The first known use of erudite was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for erudite



English Language Learners Definition of erudite

: having or showing knowledge that is learned by studying

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More from Merriam-Webster on erudite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for erudite

Spanish Central: Translation of erudite

Nglish: Translation of erudite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of erudite for Arabic Speakers

Comments on erudite

What made you want to look up erudite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing for a long time

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