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

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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

An unlikely modern conqueror is making his case to join Alexander, Caesar and Napoleon on the list of erudite exterminators. Gregg Opelka, WSJ, "Putin’s Less-Than-Epic Mueller Retort," 7 May 2019 One of the most trafficked subreddits of all is r/SkincareAddiction (ScA), home to nearly a million skin-care fans — fervent, erudite, hyaluronic-thirsty fans. Brennan Kilbane, Allure, "A Comprehensive Guide to the SkincareAddiction Subreddit," 5 Apr. 2019 Abrams manages, however, to be both erudite and endearing. Brittney Cooper, Marie Claire, "Stacey Abrams Is Just Getting Started," 11 Mar. 2019 Marco Zanini, the erudite and talented Italian designer, is launching his own label, Zanini, this coming Milan Fashion Week. Mark Holgate, Vogue, "Marco Zanini Is Going to Launch His Own Label—Finally, Some Good News," 28 Jan. 2019 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

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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Statistics for erudite

Last Updated

17 May 2019

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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

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incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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