er·​u·​dite | \ ˈer-ə-ˌdīt How to pronounce erudite (audio) , ˈer-yə- How to pronounce erudite (audio) \

Definition of erudite

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

Other Words from erudite

eruditely adverb

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Erudite derives 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." (Rudis is also the source of the English word rude.) We typically use rude to mean "discourteous" or "uncouth" but it can also mean "lacking refinement" or "uncivilized." Taking these meanings into account, erudite stays true to its etymology: someone who is erudite 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
Recent Examples on the Web Moore transitioned to journalism and fashioned a 25-year career as an erudite writer for Sports Illustrated, covering track and field among other subjects. Ken Goe For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 4 May 2022 But what elegant gossip, dressed up in Brown's stylish sentences and erudite insights. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, 26 Apr. 2022 An erudite Islamic scholar by night, Mr. Touray moved into a third-floor apartment in a new 19-story building known as Twin Parks North West. New York Times, 12 Jan. 2022 But even Finnegans Wake, an unrivaled imagining of mental dark matter, consists entirely of Joyce’s hyperconscious, insanely erudite meta-thoughts. John Horgan, Scientific American, 6 Feb. 2021 For all his virtuosity, Wallace specialized in erudite neurotics from Middle America who suffer from various degrees of mental illness. Jonathan Russell Clark, Los Angeles Times, 1 Apr. 2022 In his later years, Howard was an erudite, peaceful, funny man who loved to split his time living with his wife Caroline in the south of France and in Southern California. Tim Reid, Variety, 1 Feb. 2022 The gaunt and erudite Bowie brought an open theatricality and androgyny to popular music that changed the very meaning of being a rock star. Staff And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 5 Jan. 2022 In 1965, Buckley visited Smith in person and wrote a feature-length profile for Esquire detailing their unlikely friendship, quoting from Smith’s erudite letters, and making the legal case for a retrial. Sam Adler-bell, The New Republic, 7 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Erudite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on erudite

Nglish: Translation of erudite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of erudite for Arabic Speakers


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