Definition of erudite
- an erudite scholar
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the most erudite people in medical research attended the conference
an erudite lecture on the latest discoveries in astronomy
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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.
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
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